Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will unveil his mysterious World Cup attack coach in less than 100 days before the rugby tournament in Japan.
Rugby director Scott Johnson announced Thursday that an announcement would be made in the coming weeks on the replacement of former Wallaby Stephen Larkham, who was suspended controversially in February.
The new man will have only five tests to refine his attack before his opening match of the World Cup. Now you can book your Rugby World Cup Tickets online to support your players and favourite team.
Johnson, who was in that role at the 2007 World Cup when Australia had its worst result with a quarter-final exit, said he was not considering taking that position himself.
“There will be a decision made in the next couple of days,” Johnson said.
We looked at the candidates, some are internal and others have other work to do so, an announcement will be made very soon.
Former Wallabies Matt Giteau and Brian Smith are believed to be part of the group, as are Waratah coach Daryl Gibson and Rebels assistant Shaun Bern. Cheika is believed to have had someone in mind for a month, pointing to the last two Super Rugby-related candidates.
Speaking at a ceremony in Melbourne before the Super Rugby finals, Johnson said he believes the World Cup would be the most contested but the Wallabies would be in the mix.
“I think New Zealand’s dominance is probably a little tighter than at previous World Cups and I would not be surprised if the winner loses a pool match,” said Johnson.
There are five or six teams that could win but the competition is unstable in our favour. Former Wallabies captain Stirling Mortlock, who was also part of guests, put more pressure on Johnson and said he had to make his mark on the test side to succeed.
A lot of people talk about rugby leadership in Australia and everything in this Wallabies outfit needs to be a well-oiled machine. I think Australia can do something special, but the test matches before the World Cup are essential for us to impose our authority.
At the same time, Johnson said he thought the Wallabies could move on from the Israel Folau saga that had damaged Waratah’s Super Rugby season, with continued legal action threatening the World Cup.
“A lot of time has been devoted to it and now we’ve got to focus on performing in the World Cup and in Test matches,” Johnson said.
Israel is doing what it has to do and it has the right to do it, we have to keep playing rugby and I think the players are professional enough to understand that.
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