Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma looks on during a training session.
Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma looks on during a training session. Dan Mullan

Wallabies' ex-Puma knows what to expect from Argentina

RUGBY: Former Argentinian international Mario Ledesma cops plenty of stick from his home nation as scrum coach for the Wallabies, but he is full of praise for the progress of the Pumas.

Ledesma, who retired from playing in 2011 after 84 Tests, was forwards coach at French clubs Stade Francais and Montpellier before taking on roles at the Waratahs and the Wallabies last year.

While some observers were surprised by the slickness of the Pumas' offloading game against the All Blacks last Saturday, Ledesma was not among them.

"When I played we didn't throw the ball around a lot and this team does it a lot. So, the DNA's changed a little bit, they're focusing on other skills,” he told reporters.

"They worked for that (offloading). Whenever they started playing Rugby Championship and now Super Rugby that was the main focus, on skills.

"I think they're doing a great job.”

Saturday night's clash in Perth between the Wallabies and the Pumas will be the third with Ledesma on the Australian staff and he knows what to expect.

"I get a lot of bagging over there, some calls and everybody treating me like I'm a traitor or something, but it's all good,” he joked.

"Obviously I played a long time for them and I'm a very proud Argentinian.

"The team and the coaching staff over there I'm really good friends with and they've always been really supportive of what I'm doing over here so there's no issues there.”


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