Simon Raiwalui named Australia forwards coach
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 26/03/18 8:10am
Former Fiji international Simon Raiwalui has been appointed as Australia’s forwards coach.
The 43-year-old will take up the role once he has completed his club duties with Biarritz and will take over from Mario Ledesma, who left to become coach of the Jaguares in Super Rugby.
Raiwalui enjoyed a successful playing career that included spells with Newport and France's Racing Metro, while he also played for Sale Sharks in the Premiership and captained Saracens.
His first coaching role was with Racing Metro in 2012 before he moved to their Paris rivals Stade Francais, winning the French league title with them in 2015.
"I've learned so much about the game in the northern hemisphere and I think it's been crucial for me as a forwards coach," said Raiwalui, whose contract runs until the end of 2019.
"There's so much focus on that side of the game in Europe so I hope I can bring home some of those learnings to Australian rugby."
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika praised the selection of Raiwalui, who played 43 times for Fiji having established himself for Sydney club side Manly.
"We had a quality group of candidates for this role from Super Rugby, international rugby as well as French and English rugby. Australians and foreigners," said Cheika.
"We had the luxury of taking our time to ensure we had a lot of detail in our selection process and the final choice of Simon was very clear for us.
"His quality of character, along with his technical detail and passion for Australia was a mix that proved a very potent argument for his selection."