Meeting of coaching minds in Sydney

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

George Smith wasn’t the only unusual face at Wallabies training on Tuesday, with head coaches from around the country at Leichhardt Oval on Tuesday.

Reds coach Nick Stiles, Force coach Dave Wessels, Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson and Rebels' Tony McGahan and Morgan Turinui all descended on Sydney this week, after meeting with Wallabies staff on Monday night.

Former Wallaby Rod Kafer, who was part of a recent coaching think tank, and coaching legend Alan Gaffney were also at the session.

The Wallabies coaching staff met with the group as well as national Sevens coaches Andy Friend and Tim Walsh earlier in the week, looking to share ideas and thoughts about the way forward for Australian rugby.

It's not an entirely unusual practice to have the provincial coaches involved at Wallabies time, but it comes off the back of news that the ARU is set to establish a national coaching panel, to streamline coaching education at all levels and create a greater level of mentorship from community to elite coaching.

Dave Wessels and Tony McGahan at Wallabies training. Photo: Walmsley“It's been really good for Cheik and the rest of his staff to even invite us. We know how difficult things are in the game and how busy things are," Wessels said.

“I think it's (great) how open they've been with everything they're doing and I think everybody just wants to get better, which is great.

“We've just been having some discussions around how they've been doing things and sharing ideas.

As much as Monday night’s meeting was about the Test coaches sharing their strategies, they also took the chance to receive feedback from their Super Rugby counterparts.

“I think that's the nice thing about all this group of coaches, including the Wallabies coaches.

“Everybody just wants to be better, everybody's pretty open with their ideas.

“I think everybody's got the best interest of Australian Rugby in mind and I'm looking forward to it - been pretty good so far and looking forward to the next couple of days.”

The Wallabies take on Scotland on Saturday, kicking off at 3pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RADIO. Buy tickets here.