Test duo complete Waratahs coaching staff

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Former Test hooker Mark Bell is the final piece in the Waratahs' coaching puzzle, the club announced on Tuesday.

Bell, whose son Angus is in the Waratahs squad and starred for the Junior Wallabies this season, will join the club as a part-time scrum coach.

The ex-Reds forwards coach has also worked with Sydney Uni and Newington College as a scrum coach in recent times.

New Waratahs coach Rob Penny said Bell would play an important role in the development of the side's next generation.

“Mark’s focus is on scrummaging, but he brings a wealth of experience from right across the game – to have a coach of his calibre on board is really pleasing,” Penney added.

“He’ll have an important role to play, particularly in sharing his experience and ultimately, giving confidence to some of our younger forwards in what will be a key area for us.”

NSW also confirmed the addition of fellow ex-Test player Matt Cockbain as their forwards coach for 2020.

Matt Cockbain will join the Waratahs coaching staff. Photo: Getty ImagesCockbain said he was excited about the opportunity to work with the Waratahs.

"To be honest, I just can’t wait to get started,” Cockbain said.

“When Rob got in touch, he outlined the direction he wants to take the squad and the goals he has for the [NSW] Waratahs – we share a lot of the same philosophies and ideas about the game.

“It was an easy choice for me in the end, to work alongside Rob, Chris Whitaker and Steve Tandy is something I’m really looking forward to.

“The [NSW] Waratahs are a group full of promising, young players along with some experienced guys either in or on the fringe of the Wallabies squad.

“Rob’s appointment as well as changes throughout the playing squad make it a really exciting time to be getting involved.”

Penney said Cockbain's acquisition was a priority for him once he came on board at the Waratahs.

"Matt brings a wealth of experience from both his playing days and coaching career,” Penney said.

“He’s established himself as a very knowledgeable, sought-after coach – sounding him out to be involved here was one of the first things I did after being appointed at the [NSW] Waratahs.

“I always wanted to ensure that the make-up of our staff would provide opportunity for local coaches within Australian rugby. I’m really looking forward to working alongside Matt as we enter an exciting period for the [NSW] Waratahs in 2020.”


Waratahs coaching staff for 2020

Head coach: Rob Penney

Assistant (Backs): Chris Whitaker

Assistant (Forwards): Matt Cockbain

Assistant (Defence): Steve Tandy

Scrum coach: Mark Bell