Australia: Brett Hodgson joins Wallabies’ backroom staff as defence coach
Eddie Jones has made the first appointment to his backroom staff since taking charge of the Wallabies last month, with Brett Hodgson named as their new defence coach.
A former rugby league player, who made more than 350 appearances in the NRL and who also played in the English Super League, Hodgson also had a spell as a head coach of Hull in the latter competition.
Worked with Jones for England
He had a short stint as Jones‘ assistant with England, when he served as their defence coach during last year’s Autumn Nations Series Tests, but when Jones was fired from his position as head coach the 45-year-old’s services were also not retained by the RFU.
Hodgson attended Friday’s Round One Super Rugby Pacific clash between the Waratahs and Brumbies in Sydney with Jones and he is set to join the Wallabies‘ coaching staff immediately.
“I’m really excited to be back in Australia and working with the Wallabies, especially in a World Cup year,” Hodgson said in a statement.
“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.”
Hodgson’s appointment comes at the right time for the Wallabies after it was announced last week that Dan McKellar (forwards coach) and Petrus du Plessis (scrum coach) would leave their positions with the team.
“Brett’s a hard-working and detailed young coach who will be a great asset to the Wallabies and the coaching staff,” said Jones.
“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 the world.”
More coaching appointments to be made
Jones and Rugby Australia (RA) will confirm the rest of the Wallabies’ backroom staff in the coming weeks, with RA chief executive Andy Marinos not intending to get involved in that process.
“We’ve got to operate within the confines of the business and the frameworks. But in terms of how he wants to play the game and populate his team, and how they want to present themselves, absolutely,” Marinos told reporters in Sydney last Friday.
“That’s what every coach needs to have. They’ve got to build their own identity and their culture and we’re here ready to support to make sure he can achieve those things.”
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