Ledesma tipped Wallabies
Mario Ledesma, the former Wallabies assistant now in charge of Argentina, says the best is yet to come from an Australian team that he believes is proving to be one of the most physical outfits in world rugby.
It has been almost two years since Ledesma broke the news to players and staff after a Test in Mendoza that he would be standing down to take up a role with the Jaguares. Now Ledesma finds himself in charge of the Argentinian national side and there is every chance he and Michael Cheika, the man who convinced him to coach at the Waratahs initially, will come face to face in the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
“It’s one of the most physical teams in the world, I think, and the best is yet to come for this team,” said Ledesma of the Wallabies. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Australia go really far in this World Cup.
“I imagine they wanted a better result, especially in that last game against the All Blacks [that Australia lost 36-0].
“I was following with a lot of enthusiasm [and there is] a new vibe. They are playing a lot more direct rugby with a lot of physicality and big boys in the centre of the field. [Samu] Kerevi and [Tevita] Kuridrani ... it doesn’t get any bigger than that and obviously in the second row [Izack] Rodda is playinggreat rugby.”
Ledesma has brought the Pumas to Sydney for a World Cup camp and match on Saturday against Randwick at Coogee Oval. Meanwhile, the Wallabies will return from their own intense training camp in New Caledonia on Thursday before preparing to face Samoa at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.
Cheika organised a camp in 2015 by taking the group to the United States before the World Cup. A hit-out against Samoa, the 16th-ranked team in the world, is the last opportunity for players to give Cheika and his selectors food for thought before Australia’s first World Cup match on September 21 against Fiji.