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Les Kiss: 'Surgical' Joe Schmidt will 'cut through the fluff' for Wallabies

(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The Wallabies’ “surgical” new coach will get Australian rugby’s different arms singing from the same hymn sheet once again.


So says Queensland boss Les Kiss, who has previously worked with incoming Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt for Ireland.

Schmidt last week described himself as a “boring pragmatist” and Kiss seconded that notion, believing a process-driven approach is just what the struggling national team needs.

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Kiwi Schmidt was announced as the new Wallabies boss on Friday, replacing Eddie Jones after the side’s tumultuous World Cup campaign, where they didn’t even get out of the group stage.

“He’ll cut through the fluff and get to the main things that matter,” Kiss said of Schmidt.

“(He’ll) concentrate on the areas that will make the most difference and leverage the qualities of the group that he’ll have with him.

“He’ll cut to the chase and simplify things – ‘to get this right, you need to get this right, then this will improve’.

“He’ll be fairly surgical in terms of how he does it.”

Kiss, who built Ireland’s impenetrable defence for the 2015 Six Nations, was replaced by Schmidt after leading the side in an interim capacity in 2013.


But Schmidt kept him around in an assistant role and they worked together there for about two years.

“It’s an appointment we’ve been waiting for,” Kiss said.

“Joe brings a lot of expertise and other success, and knows how to get the right things out of players, pulling them in from different environments and gelling together to go together somewhere.

“We’ll find some really good qualities right through the whole program, he’ll connect us all.”


Jones, who quit the Wallabies job and has since been appointed coach of the Japanese national team, described Australia’s rugby system as “broken” on his way out the door.


Schmidt used his introductory press conference to stress the importance of leaning on the Super Rugby Pacific systems, with Kiss believing he is the right man for the task.

“He’ll get around the traps and make sure we’re all connected,” he said.

“No doubt we’ll see him up here, he’ll meet the guys and inquire as to how we do things and all that sort of stuff.

“He’s a very good, solid relationship builder.”


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