Argentina scrum doctor Ledesma to help Wallabies

Australia’s Wallabies have called in Argentina’s scrum doctor Mario Ledesma
in order to change the perception that they are pushovers at scrum time.

Australia have been pooled at the Rugby World Cup with Wales and England who
have both gained superiority over the Wallabies in recent Tests.up.

Ledesma, who played 84 Tests for Argentina as a hooker, has begun working with
the Wallabies on set pieces after performing the same function for the Waratahs
through the Super Rugby season.

The Wallabies maligned scrum came in for more scrutiny after some shaky moments
in their season-opening Rugby Championship Test against South Africa in Brisbane
last weekend.

Australia’s scrum has regularly been targeted by opponents over the last decade
to great effect, and they will be under enormous pressure at the World Cup against
pool rivals and scrummaging powerhouses England and Wales.

Michael Cheika’s men can expect another thorough examination in Mendoza this
weekend against Argentina, a rugby nation renowned for their scrummaging prowess.

Ledesma, who represented Argentina at four World Cups over a 15-year international
career up to 2011, does not believe the Wallabies scrum is their Achilles heel,
but acknowledged that may be the perception outside Australia.

“What we are trying to do here, and I think we did it really well during
the Super Rugby, is change that perception everyone has of the Australian team,”
Ledesma was reported as saying by Australian Associated Press Tuesday.

“If you look at most of the Australian teams throughout the (Super Rugby)
competition, they were dominating in the scrums, especially the Queensland Reds.

“It’s just showing everybody that we’re there to scrum, and we want to

“We want to dominate over there and we want the least amount of penalties
possible and get the referee out of the picture.”

Argentina’s two tries against New Zealand last weekend came from driving mauls
following lineouts and Ledesma expected the Pumas to use that tactic and the
scrum to attack Australia.

“That’s the DNA of the Argentinian team and I think they won’t be going
away from that and they shouldn’t,” Ledesma said.

“But we will prepare for that and we’re really excited about those kind
of battles.”

Ledesma conceded the Wallabies scrum struggled early against the Springboks,
but felt it improved as the match progressed and especially after the second
half substitutions. The Wallabies won the match 24-20.

“We didn’t start really well, mainly because we weren’t respecting what
we planned during the week,” Ledesma said.

“But when we started getting it right in the second half especially the
last couple of scrums, we put them under pressure and had good outcomes.”

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