Dave Rennie wants Glasgow Warriors to aim for Pro 14 title

Dave Rennie takes charge of his first game on Saturday
Dave Rennie takes charge of his first game on Saturday

Incoming Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie has urged the team to aim all the way for the title win in the upcoming season of Pro 14 that kicks-off on Friday.

Glasgow Warriors had a disappointing 2016/17 season where they finished sixth in the table after winning just 11 out of the 22 games. The Scottish regional side has won the championship just once during the 2014/15 season before ending runners up in the season prior to that but were not able to quite replicate their form.

Rennie, who takes over in charge of the Scotstoun outfit from Gregor Townsend had a successful five-year stint with Chiefs after leading them to Super Rugby title in 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons and helped them reach the playoffs in the subsequent seasons as well.

"Winning it (is the target)," Rennie said ahead of the game against Connacht this weekend.

"(But also) Continuing to grow the club. (Former coach) Gregor (Townsend) did a great job but it was a struggle last year when the internationals were out, so we have to try and build more depth.

"We have brought in a few guys that can't play for Scotland in that time which is important.

"In the end we have huge aspirations, I don't want these boys thinking fourth is good enough.

"You work hard to try and get to the play-offs and when you're there, you're two to three weeks off winning a title so it's a long way off, but we don't want to be talking about anything other than winning a title."

The 53-year-old has a high reputation in New Zealand and was also considered as a possible replacement for All Blacks head coach Steve Hansen. Rennie has a vast experience in coaching arena, having previously worked with Wellington, Manawatu, Hurricanes and New Zealand Under 20 before joining Chiefs.

The former Wellington centre is keen on bringing the attacking style of game into the Warriors but insisted that the transition will take its time.

He said: "We are fortunate that in having Gregor here over the past few years, he plays a real positive brand of footie and that suits what I want.

"Between all us coaches we're trying to build on that and implement some subtle changes.

"It's going to be a gradual process but we're fortunate that we have some very good players, a lot of experience and a group of men who have a positive mindset around playing.

"We showed some good examples last weekend, but we will play what's in front of us.

"If it's on, we'll play, if not then maybe we will look to kick from deep.

"But players understanding the concept of 'first act' with regard to quick taps and quick lineouts and so on, some guys have twigged really quickly, some will take a bit longer."