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Cheika to take over Argentina head coaching role for World Cup campaign

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8th March, 2022
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Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has been chosen to replace Mario Ledesma as the Pumas head coach, according to a report in Argentina.

La Nacion newspaper reports that Cheika has been selected ahead of Gonzalo Quesada and Felipe Contepomi, who are coaching in European rugby with Stade Francais and Leinster respectively.

The paper said Contepomi will be an assistant to Cheika but take over after next year’s World Cup.

“Cheika had already been with the national team as Ledesma’s advisor during the 2020 Tri-Nations and the July Tests and the 2021 Rugby Championship. In fact, the players themselves point to him as a key factor in the victory against New Zealand,” La Nacion reported.

The Roar has sought comment from Cheika on the news.


La Nacion said the “the hiring draws attention because it occurs at a time when the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) is going through a time of scarcity, to the point that in recent years there have been considerable cuts…”

The UAR’s president Marcelo Rodríguez and deputy Gabriel Travaglini travelled to Europe to meet with candidates before “opting for the experience of the Australian, who won the arm wrestling match against Quesada, the favourite of the players and the fans.”

Cheika was Wallabies coach from 2014-2019, reaching the World Cup final in 2015.

Ledesma was Cheika’s forwards coach for some of that time.


Cheika, who has been working as a pundit for Stan Sport, will be Argentina’s first foreign head coach since Kiwi Alex Wylie in 1999.

The Roar experts Brett McKay and Harry Jones analyse week three of Super Rugby Pacific and name their early bolters for Bledisloe Cup honours in The Roar Rugby Podcast.