Argentina look set to announce Mario Ledesma as their new head coach to replace Daniel Hourcade.
Hourcade announced his resignation on June 16th after Los Pumas lost 30-12 to Wales in Sante Fe, falling to a 2-0 series defeat. His final match was a 44-15 home loss to Scotland in Resistencia a week later.
Argentina have been in freefall since they reached the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup, with Hourcade leading his side to just three victories in their last 23 matches, which were against Georgia, Italy and Japan.
When Hourcade made the decision to walk away he admitted “The message is no longer getting through and we feel that clearly this is a completed cycle. We talked previously with the UAR and agreed that the [June] window was decisive.
“We did everything possible and there are not responses from the team. The responsibility is entirely mine”.
Ledesma led the Jaguares to seventh in Super XV this season, with the team winning nine of their of their 16 matches before being beaten 40-23 at the quarter-final stage of the competition by eventual finalists Lions.
But turning around Argentina won’t be an easy task for the former Test hooker. Ledesma worked as a scrum coach for the Wallabies under Michael Cheika, who said he was “devastated” when the former Clermont Auvergne man announced he was leaving the Australian set-up at the end of 2017, having originally being signed up until the 2019 World Cup.
Now it appears that Ledesma will be at the World Cup afterall, with Argentina. They’ve been drawn in Pool C with England, France, USA and Tonga.
The UAR have confirmed that a press conference will take place at 11am in Buenos Aires (1400GMT) where Ledesma is expected to be confirmed.
His first match in charge would be the Rugby Championship match against South Africa in Durban on August 18th.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.