Eddie Jones makes first major coaching team appointment
NEWS: Eddie Jones has made his first major appointment, unveiling former Australian National Rugby League star Brett Hodgson as Wallabies defence coach on a two-year deal until the end of 2024.
Hodgson joins Rugby Australia following a decorated career as both a professional player and coach, having played more than 350 first-grade games in the NRL and English Super League, as well as representing NSW in State of Origin.
After retiring from playing, the 2005 Wests Tigers premiership hero started his coaching career in Rugby Union in 2012 as a kicking consultant with Sale Sharks in the English Premiership, before switching codes again to become an assistant with Hull FC in the Super League.
He moved back to Australia to take up a role with Wests Tigers in 2018, returning to the UK as head coach of Hull FC at the end of 2020.
The 45-year-old most recently joined Jones as England’s defence coach in November last year and will begin his role with the Wallabies effective immediately.
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“I’m really excited to be back in Australia and working with the Wallabies, especially in a World Cup year.” Hodgson said.
“There’s plenty of hard work ahead and I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running and making a positive contribution to the team.
“The Wallabies are a team everyone in Australia loves to get behind and from what I’ve seen so far there’s plenty of talent here and that’s something that’s really exciting.”
Jones still has to settle on a forwards coach and attacking coach, with Scott Wisemantel only on board as a consultant and “sounding board”, according to RA boss Andy Marinos.
But the new Wallabies coach is excited to have Hodgson in his ranks.
“Brett’s a hard-working and detailed young coach who will be a great asset to the Wallabies and the coaching staff,” Jones said.
“He’s worked under some great coaching mentors like [Phil] ‘Gus’ Gould and Tim Sheens in his time as a player and a coach, so he’s well-schooled and I know he’ll give his best to the job of producing the best defence in the world.”