Michael Cheika will coach Argentina at the Rugby World Cup

Former Wallabies manager Michael Cheika has been chosen to replace Mario Ledesma as Pumas head coach, according to a report in Argentina.

La Nacion newspaper reports that Cheika was selected ahead of Gonzalo Quesada and Felipe Contepomi, who coach European rugby with Stade Français and Leinster respectively.

The newspaper said Contepomi will be Cheika’s assistant but will take over after next year’s World Cup.

“Cheika had previously been part of the national team as an advisor to Ledesma during the 2020 Tri-Nations and July Tests and 2021 Rugby Championship. In fact, the players themselves point to her as a key factor in victory against New Zealand,” La Nacion reported.

The Roar sought comment from Cheika on the news.

La Nacion said that “the hiring attracts attention because it occurs at a time when the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) is going through a period of shortage, to the point that in recent years there have been considerable cuts …”

UAR president Marcelo Rodríguez and his deputy Gabriel Travaglini traveled to Europe to meet candidates before “opting for the experience of the Australian, who won the arm wrestling match against Quesada, the favorite players and fans”.

Cheika coached the Wallabies from 2014 to 2019, reaching the World Cup final in 2015.

Ledesma was Cheika’s forwards coach for part of this period.

Cheika, who worked as a pundit for Stan Sport, will be Argentina’s first foreign head coach since Kiwi Alex Wylie in 1999.

Sports Grp2

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