Mid North Coast Axemen coach Angus Anderson hopes his forwards can take a lot of knowledge from their training session with Wallabies set-piece coach Mario Ledesma.
The most-capped Argentinean national player will attend Axemen training on Sunday as the side continues preparations for the April 29 and 30 Country Championships.
Prior to retiring in 2011, Ledesma played as a hooker for French clubs ASM Clermont Auvergne and Castres Olympique in the Top 14 competition.
Ledesma also played for Argentina and was a part of their 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 squads.
He was appointed as the forwards coach at Stade Français for the 2011-12 season before joining Montpellier in 2012 where he held the same position until November 2014.
At the start of the 2015 Super Rugby season, he joined the Waratahs as coach observer and is now the current forwards coach for the Wallabies.
Anderson took it upon himself to give Ledesma a call after working with him with last year’s under-18 representative squad.
“I rang him up, said we were on a road to riches program and he was more than happy to help us out,” Anderson said.
“Rural and regional players need a bit of love because we get none from the ARU.”
The Mid North Coast coach felt rugby’s governing body could be more proactive in what they did at grassroots level.
Rural and regional players need a bit of love because we get none from the ARU.
“The players feel lucky and valued to have someone like Mario come out and spend some time with them,” Anderson said.
“But I remember growing up in Orange and we’d have Wallabies and Super Rugby players coming out three or four times a year, but these days the Waratahs don’t get out of Sydney.
“I’d love to see the ARU take a more hands-on approach than they currently do.”
Ledesma will work with the Axemen’s forwards during the training session at Stuart Park from 9am.
“The scrum is one of the most specialised and technical areas on the field so as a coach you need to bring in specialist coaches and Mario is one of those,” Anderson said.
“He’ll work on individual techniques and then work out how we can best utilise those individual techniques to work together as one scrimmaging machine.
“It doesn’t matter how strong you are because it’s all about technique and that’s something Mario is big on.”