Ledesma – ‘Dream come true’

Date published: October 12 2017

Newly-appointed Jaguares coach Mario Ledesma says it is a dream come true to coach in his native Argentina and he can't wait to get started.

Stepping into the hot seat of Argentine rugby, coaching the Jaguares in next year's Super Rugby competition, will be one of the leading figures in the Argentina game, Ledesma.

While the Jaguares have been struggling to make an impact in the Southern Hemisphere competition, Ledesma has been honing his coaching skills with the Wallabies in Australia. The 84-cap Test veteran said he was achieving a dream by coaching rugby in his homeland.

The Argentine Rugby Union made the announcement this week. Ledesma will be assisted for the next two years by Martin Gaitan and Nicolas Fernandez Meranda.

Ledesma played for Argentina from 1996 to 2011, including four World Cups. He sits fourth on the list of all-time Test appearances for Argentina. 

He began his coaching liaison with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika at Stade Francais in 2011-12 before joining up with him again with the Wallabies.

Ledesma told jaguars.com.ar: "Since I started training and decided to be a coach, my goal was to train in Argentina. By deciding to go back now it is because I consider I have the necessary tools to coach, not only from the technical point of view but also from the leadership position. I think I had to learn that aspect, how to pass the messages on to players and how to handle the empathy with them."

He said he wanted the Jaguares to develop their own style and not attempt to play in the manner of the sides they faced in the competition. 

"What we do on the field has to be an expression of us. I want, when people see us play that they say 'this is what these guys are all about, they work hard and they never take a step back'," he said.

"If we can instill that in the team, and reflect that to our fans, people will realise we're going to do better."

Ledesma will complete his association with Australia after next week's third Bledisloe Cup Test.