Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who will act as coaching consultant for Argentina in next month’s Rugby Championship, is awaiting approval to join the Pumas when they begin quarantine in Australia on Tuesday, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. Pumas coach Mario Ledesma had previously worked as scrum coach under Cheika at Stade Francais and with the Wallabies and had proposed renewing the partnership at the start of the year.
The report said Cheika’s application to join up with the Pumas soon after they arrive was pending with the New South Wales government and SANZAAR – the body that oversees the Rugby Championship.
Argentina are due to arrive in Sydney on Tuesday and will undergo two weeks quarantine under COVID-19 protocols.
Pumas manager Marcelo Loffreda told the newspaper they wanted Cheika, who stepped down as Wallabies coach after last year’s World Cup, to join up with the squad as soon as possible to prepare for the competition.
“Cheika lives in Sydney, and it’s so important that he could join the team camp with us from the beginning or at the least four days later from our arrival, obviously with a strict protocol and testing negative (for COVID-19),” he said.
“So we’re asking that to the authorities of SANZAAR, the government and the police of Australia.”
The Argentine team, who are due to arrive from Uruguay, did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.
Argentina start their Rugby Championship campaign against South Africa in Brisbane on Nov. 7
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