The head of Wellington NPC coach Dave Rennie is on the block, say two former Wellington and All Black stalwarts.

This season's side were almost identical to last year's first-division winning team, and Murray Pierce and Bernie Fraser expected them to finish higher than sixth.

Rennie has said he is keen to continue with Wellington, despite being appointed assistant coach to the Hurricanes under Graham Mourie.

Pierce and Fraser said something was not right in the team's coaching and management, although the Wellington Rugby Football Union had not helped by negotiating contracts with players during the competition.

"I suspect that if we have the same mixture of coaching team, we're going to get the same results we've had this year," Pierce said.

"The potential [in the team] is there, it just needs a coach who can bring it out of them. I'm not convinced Dave Rennie is that man.

"Who have we got who's better than Dave Rennie? Year in, year out, the development team and the Colts teams do extremely well. What's happening to these coaches? They don't seem to come through." Fraser said players were continually faltering with the basics. He feared the same malaise would affect the Hurricanes.

"It's the same things most of the time. Simple things week in, week out," Fraser said.

"If it was [happening] in complicated moves, then you could understand they're trying something different.

"But it's simple things, such as forwards trying to pick the ball up at full gallop when they should be letting the backs have a crack."

The problems had been around for "three or four years" and it was time to question why they still existed.

Rennie and team manager Tony Bedford must produce a report for the union's game committee next month. The committee will decide either to recommend the position be advertised or to reappoint Rennie.

- NZPA

2001 NPC schedule/scoreboard

NPC Division One squads