New Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has turned to the NRL to help fill the void after a mass exodus of assistants, luring former rugby league star Brett Hodgson ahead of this year’s World Cup.
Hodgson, who played over 350 NRL games, including representing NSW, worked as Jones’ defence coach for England late last year and will now fill the role with the Wallabies.
“I’m really excited to be back in Australia and working with the Wallabies, especially in a World Cup year,” Hodgson, who finished his playing career in the UK before going in to coaching, said.
“There’s plenty of hard work ahead and I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and making a positive contribution to the team.
“The Wallabies are a team everyone in Australia loves to get behind and from what I’ve seen so far, there’s plenty of talent here and that’s something that’s really exciting.”
Following the abrupt sacking of Dave Rennie as Wallabies coach, most of his assistants have followed.
Forwards coach Dan McKellar joined Laurie Fisher and scrum coach Petrus du Plessis as the last members of Rennie’s Wallabies assistants to quit last week.
Jones pointed to Hodgson’s experience as an NRL player and coach as something which could be beneficial to the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign.
“Brett’s a hardworking and detailed young coach who will be a great asset to the Wallabies and the coaching staff,” he said.
“He’s worked under some great coaching mentors like Gus Gould and Tim Sheens in his time as a player and a coach, so he’s well-schooled and I know he’ll give his best to the job of producing the best defence in world.”