Argentinian newspaper La Nacion have reported that Michael Cheika is set to take over as head coach of the Argentina national side ahead of next year’s World Cup.
Felipe Contepomi, currently backs coach with Leinster, is also set to join as an assistant coach, with the view to taking over from Cheika after the World Cup. The ex-Leinster out-half had recently denied rumours that he would be taking over as head coach of his country. He had also been involved previously with Argentina's second string team, before taking up his coaching role with Leinster.
Contepomi and Cheika previously teamed up in a player and coach capacity while at Leinster, winning a Celtic League and a Heineken Cup together.
The news of Cheika’s appointment comes after previous head coach Mario Ledesma stepped down from the role.
Cheika worked alongside Ledesma in the Argentinian set-up as an assistant. Given this and his experience as head coach of Leinster, Stade Francais, Waratahs and Australia, his appointment makes a lot of sense.
Cheika will be eager to regain his status as one the world’s premier head coaches, after suffering a number of relatively unsuccessful years.
Following his stint at Leinter, where he guided the province to their first Heineken Cup, he took over at Stade Francais, before he joined the Waratahs.
He enjoyed huge success with the ‘Tahs as he lead them to a Super Rugby title. He carried this form over to the Australian national side, as he brought a Rugby Championship to his native country in 2015, reached a World Cup Final, and was named coach of the year.
His final few years as head coach of the Wallabies were disappointing and he resigned at the end of 2019.
Contepomi will be a hugely popular choice to join the Argentinian set up. The outhalf was one of the best Argentinian players of his generation, and won 87 caps for his country and scored 651 points.