Wallaby assistant takes up Argentinean job

Sun, 08 Oct 2017 07:59
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REACTION: The rickety Wallaby scrum is likely to become even more suspect.

It was confirmed on Sunday that after three years with the Wallabies, Mario Ledesma is returning to Argentina.

The Wallabies scrum doctor has been by Michael Cheika's side since he was coach of the Waratahs, but he will leave the Australian setup to be the head coach of the Jaguares in 2018.

His last game with the Wallabies will be the Brisbane Bledisloe, on October 21.

Cheika confirmed that he has lost one of his most loyal and valuable assistants.

"Argentina gave us a gift when they gave us Mario Ledesma," Cheika told rugby.com.au.

"In 2014 when we went on the tour, when I first took over, we got our scrum pummelled by the English in one game and if you're a good person when you get a gift, you should always give one back.

"Now we're giving a gift back because Mario Ledesma is a good man, he's a great coach and as much as I'm sad that he's leaving, personally as his friend and from a rugby point of view.

"Not only is he improving himself by having this position, which is what we want our people to do, but also he's coming back to his family who he hasn't seen for many, many years.

"It's going to be a great thing for Argentinian rugby and hopefully the Jaguares will do very well except when they play against the Australian teams."

Ledesma addressed the players post match and told them of his decision, which came as an emotional surprise to the majority of the squad.

Cheika forecast a temporary replacement for Ledesma that will join the coaching staff on the Spring Tour, before a permanent replacement is named for 2018 and beyond.

"I've spoken to a few people, I don't want to talk about who for their own privacy, and it's probably more about logistics.

"There's one person in particular I've got my head on but it's probably just about logistics right now, because other people have other commitments.

"It's not a given what I'll do there but over the next week we'll try to finalise who'll come on the tour with us.

"I'll probably take a more active role in the forwards' work over the tour in particular, because I don't want to rush into appointing someone and I didn't want to start the process of looking and talking about it until it became official."

Source: rugby.com.au


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