Mario Ledesma to become head coach of Los Jaguares

Wallabies assistant coach Mario Ledesma will return home to lead Argentina’s Jaguares in next season’s Super Rugby.

Ledesma, who joined Australia as forwards coach ahead of the 2015 World Cup, said he was “very excited to move home to Argentina and get involved with the Jaguares” as head coach.

“I do leave Australia and the Wallabies with a heavy heart,” the 44-year-old said.

“I’m an extremely proud Argentinian and I bleed blue and white, but the Wallabies have been a second family for me.”

The former Argentina international, who won 84 caps over a 16-year Test career, will take on the role after the final Bledisloe Cup clash in Brisbane on October 21.

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He previously worked with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika as an assistant at Stade Francais and at the Waratahs.

“Argentina gave us a gift when they gave us Mario Ledesma… and if you’re a good person when you get a gift, you should always give one back,” Cheika said.

“It’s going to be a great thing for Argentinian rugby and hopefully the Jaguares will do very well, except when they play against the Australian teams,” he said.

The Argentines completed the 2017 Super Season – their second in the competition – with seven wins out of 15 matches, finishing third behind the Lions and Sharks in the Africa 2 conference.