Ledesma tipped Wal­la­bies

Fiji Sun - - Sport - Syd­ney: -SMH Feed­back: os­[email protected]­jisun.com.fj

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.