First piece of Jones' coaching staff confirmed as Hodgson signs as defence coach

Mon, Feb 27, 2023, 3:57 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallabies travelled to Cardiff for their final Spring Tour match of 2022.

Eddie Jones has locked in the first member of his coaching staff, signing former England assistant Brett Hodgson as his defence coach.

Hodgson made his name most notably in rugby league with the Wests Tigers, having played over 350 first grade games in NRL and English Super League.

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After retirement, he moved into a kicking consultancy role before linking up with Jones as England’s defence coach in November last year.

Hodgson was spotted in the box with Jones on Friday, overlooking the Brumbies' six-point win over the Waratahs, set to join his staff effective immediately.

“I’m really excited to be back in Australia and working with the Wallabies, especially in a World Cup year," Hodgson said in a statement.

“There’s plenty of hard work ahead and I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and making a positive contribution to the team.

“The Wallabies are a team everyone in Australia loves to get behind and from what I’ve seen so far there’s plenty of talent here and that’s something that’s really exciting.”

It comes at the perfect time as Jones starts fresh following the recent departures of Dan McKellar and Petrus Du Plessis last week.

"Brett’s a hard-working and detailed young coach who will be a great asset to the Wallabies and the coaching staff," Jones added.

"He's worked under some great coaching mentors like Gus Gould and Tim Sheens in his time as a player and a coach, so he's well-schooled and I know he’ll give his best to the job of producing the best defence in the world.”

Jones and RA will confirm the rest of his staff in the coming weeks, with RA CEO Andy Marinos not intending to intervene in the process.

"We've got to operate within the confines of the business and the frameworks. But in terms of how he wants to play the game and populate his team, and how they want to present themselves, absolutely," Marinos told reporters in Sydney last Friday.

"That's what every coach needs to have. They've got to build their own identity and their culture and we're here ready to support to make sure he can achieve those things."

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