New Australia head coach Ewen McKenzie has confirmed his coaching team ahead of the Rugby Championship, bringing in Jim McKay.
New Australia coach Ewen McKenzie has confirmed his coaching team ahead of the Rugby Championship, bringing in Reds coach Jim McKay.
McKay will operate as attack coach for the Wallabies under McKenzie, providing further good news for fly-half Quade Cooper who has worked with McKay over the last four seasons at the Reds.
The appointment of McKay completes a coaching quartet that includes defence coach Nick Scrivener and set-piece coach Andrew Blades – the duo remaining from the previous regime under Robbie Deans,
“We've effectively ended up with two new faces and two existing coaches, which has allowed us to morph things in the direction where we see opportunity, while also protecting continuity in areas where the team is already functioning productively,” said McKenzie.
“The structure has now moved away from the traditional forwards and backs concept because that polarises training.
“By coaching as an attack, defence or set piece, it allows us to coach and train in a more game-like manner.
“Within all of that, I'll concentrate more on the team elements around the tactics and the game-plan, along with the breakdown, and then work on blending the skills of all three coaches together.
“Right now, I really think we've got a good mix between technical and tactical.”
McKenzie also claimed that victory over the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup clash on August 17 was certainly possible, despite not having won the trophy for a decade.
“No one beats them frequently. But it depends a lot on your mindset,” added McKenzie.
“It doesn't mean you'll get it right every time, statistically it's quite a difficult task, but head-to-head, every one of our players has tasted success against them at some point in time.
“So you can say you've had an outcome there and we can extrapolate that through and then those head-to-head contests become a competition between the teams and that will come down to strategy and tactics and technique or whatever.
“We play against them more than anyone else, in different contexts, so there's no need to go out there feeling inferior or that it can't be done.
“I can't see any reason why we wouldn't. We're close enough to the top of the rankings. Why can't we win it?
“It's harder to win the Bledisloe than to retain it, the way it's structured, but we have to go out there with a positive mindset.”