Photographer:Hugh Peterswald Copyright: MediaServicesAP (C) 2014 On Wikicommons

Australia’s captain Will Skelton has his say on Joe Schmidt’s appointment as the country’s new head coach

Australia’s captain has had his say on Joe Schmidt becoming the country’s new head coach.

Will Skelton is optimistic about the former Irish head coach’s appointment over the Wallabies in January this year. 

He said: “I think it will be awesome for Australia rugby.”

This buoyancy comes only six months after the nation’s worst ever World Cup performance, as the Wallabies crashed out for the first time ever at the pool stage.

Confirming the slow decline and malaise that has infiltrated Australian rugby at all levels.

But the three-time Champions Cup winner Skelton believes Schmidt is the man to correct this.

He said: “When a coach of that calibre who has a resume like he has in turning teams around, you saw what he did with the Irish squad in the 2010s.

“That period of dominance they had, they didn’t get over the line in the World Cups, but they won a few Six Nations, and they showed the skill and how they changed their identity from when he stepped in.”

Schmidt was appointed Irish head coach in April 2013 after their disastrous Six Nations campaign, as Ireland suffered their first and only Six Nations defeat to Italy under his predecessor, Declan Kidney. 

During his six-year tenure, the New Zealander guided Ireland to three Six Nation championships, including one Grand Slam, as well as leading them to their first ever victory over New Zealand and to world number one for the first time ever.

Australia are at their lowest point, but many believe they have brought in the right man to return the two-time World Cup champions back to the elite level of the sport before the Lions tour Oz in 2025.

And the 31-year-old Australian international knows the difficulties that may lie ahead of Schmidt, but he wants to be part of the former Leinster head coach’s project.

He said: “The proof will be in how he takes control of the team, and he will be judged on his results.

“And I’ve still got a few more years in me.”

However, many eyes will be peeled to witness how Australia shape up in their first test against fellow fallen giants Wales in their summer series this July.

Featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons

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