Raiwalui selected new Wallabies forwards coach

Simon Raiwalui is the new forwards coach for the Wallabies. Picture: Canberra Times

Simon Raiwalui is the new forwards coach for the Wallabies. Picture: Canberra Times

Update: 2:02PM FORMER Fiji international and Manly second-rower Simon Raiwalui is the Wallabies new forwards coach.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Raiwalui would return to Australia for the first time in more than 20 years to join the Australian set-up in the lead-in to next year’s World Cup in Japan.

Raiwalui replaces former Argentina international Mario Ledesma who left the Wallabies to coach the Jaguaresin Super Rugby this season.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika selected Raiwalui, 43, from a group of four candidates understood to have also included Australians and foreigners.

“We had the luxury of taking our time to ensure we had a lot of detail in our selection process and the final choice of Simon was very clear for us,” Cheika told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“His quality of character, along with his technical detail and passion for Australia was a mix that proved a very potent argument for his selection.

“He was a very hard, tough and no-nonsense player from the Manly club, who has gained invaluable playing and coaching experiences in Europe.

“He’s ready to use all of that and more in building on the work of his predecessor to make our Wallaby forward pack one that will lay the platform for our national team’s success over the next two years.”

“I’m very excited to move back to Australia and the chance to work alongside Michael, Stephen (Larkham), Mick (Byrne) and Nathan (Grey) was one that I just couldn’t pass up,” Raiwalui was quoted saying in the report.

“I’ve learned so much about the game in the northern hemisphere and I think it’s been crucial for me as a forwards coach. There’s so much focus on that side of the game in Europe so I hope I can bring home some of those learnings to Australian rugby.”

Raiwalui’s appointment is for two years.

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