“I’m just going to lap up the experience and hopefully come back a better man and a better player.”
The Wallabies were also likely to lose starting winger Jordan Petaia after the Queenslander left Murrayfield with a hamstring injury, leaving Rennie down eight players from the match-day line-up responsible for the Wallabies’ five-Test win streak last month.
Despite the drama, halfback Nic White was buoyant in camp, maintaining the Wallabies were not far off against Scotland and could turn things around at Twickenham.
“Everyone’s replaying a few moments in their head and what they’d do differently but if you flip that, the positive is that for everything that went wrong and everything that went against us, we were still two points away from getting a result there in Edinburgh, in front of a packed stadium and away from home,” he said. “It’s not all doom and gloom, but there are areas we need to tidy up.”
The Wallabies attack struggled to gel with new players at five-eighth, inside centre and off the bench, but White said training and time would help this week.
“It was a little bit clunky at times and took us a little while to get into it. There’s certainly an element of new guys coming in and we’ve got to be able to adapt to the way they play, they bring different strengths … but there’s also an element of the guys need to fit into the way we want to play,” he said.
“It is a bit of a juggling act (at halfback) when you get a few new guys coming in but on the whole … it’s something we feel we can fix pretty quickly.”
Australia have a poor recent record against England, with the losses piling one on top of the other since Eddie Jones and Michael Cheika took the reins at their respective sides. The Wallabies have not beaten England in seven outings since the 2015 World Cup. The most recent clash ended Australia’s World Cup dream with an emphatic 40-16 scoreline.
White said Rennie’s first Test against England could be a reset for the Wallabies after Jones and Cheika’s shared Randwick history put an intimate spin on a storied rivalry between the nations.
“It will be less personal for sure. As a playing group, I certainly didn’t feel it, but there was a lot in the media between Eddie and Cheik,” he said. “I think it will be a little different this week and a good chance for us to focus on what we want to do and the way we want to play.”
The experienced halfback, who played in England before Cheika jump-started a stalled Test career in 2016, swatted away praise from Jones this week, cheekily labelling the Australian the “king of England”.
“It’s nice for him to give us some praise, Eddie’s the king of mind games so I’m certainly not reading too much into what he says,” White said.
“He’s the type of guy you’d love to sit down, have a beer, and talk rugby with. Hopefully one day I get that chance.
“Our job this week will be a little different to previous games with England. We’ll focus on the things we could have controlled on the weekend just gone, fix those and concentrate on us rather than, in previous times, concentrate on so much of what England are doing.”
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Watch every match of the Wallabies, All Blacks & Springboks Spring Tours on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport. Continues this weekend featuring Scotland v South Africa (Saturday, 11:50pm AEDT), Ireland v New Zealand (Sunday, 2:05am AEDT) and England v Australia (Sunday, 4:00am AEDT).