The Roar
The Roar


Assistant coaches must be de-Linked

Former Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
Roar Guru
4th November, 2013
2490 Reads

If the Wallabies want to make dramatic improvements, they should start by re-assessing Ewen McKenzie’s assistant coaches.

First to go should be Andrew Blades.

The Wallabies’ scrummaging and breakdown play has been abysmal and I would suggest we should bring in a New Zealander or a South African.

Our coaching of this critical area does not get the attention or detail it deserves by Australian coaches, and Jake White proved that by the difference in the Brumbies’ forward performances under him.

It is critical Topo Rodriguez is brought in as a consultant on scrummaging, as it is time for a ‘back to the future’ approach, which involves less fancy moves and more technique and manning up.

The attack coach Jim Mckay is new, although well known to Ewen via the Reds.

Jim should have them passing and catching until they go blind. Then start them on moves.

The passing and catching against England was abysmal, with the ball going anywhere but chest high and out in front of the runner.

This is a basic skill Wallabies have always excelled at, allowing it to get this bad calls for it to be a major focus at training.


The other key area for attack is the support running. This is our great weakness, along with lacking the ability to offload.

Defence coach Nick Scrivener should also be under review.

The Wallabies’ defensive structures have been missing in key areas during the game for a few years.

I am sure Les Kiss could do a better job in this area.

Defence, as we all know, is about attitude and it should be Ewen’s job to ensure the guys go on the field with a controlled, aggressive and focused approach.

Ewen McKenzie needs to be looking to replace both Andrew Blades and Nick Scrivener and keep a tight watch on the attack processes, as he has hung his reputation on this key area.

I do not think the coaching will improve with the current assistants and a review at the end of this tour should encompass replacing his assistants with hard, well-credentialed men who are not yes men.