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Wallabies vs Argentina tour, Michael Cheika, Australia warned, Eddie Jones return, England, tactics

Scott Wisemantel has put his side on high alert against Mikel Cheka’s Los Pumas as the Warriors prepare for their crucial two-week tour of Argentina.

Wismantel’s comments came as the Wallabies assistant urged Australian rugby to do all it could to lure Eddie Jones back home as he bows out with England following next year’s World Cup in France.

Almost three years ago, Wisemantel and Jones teamed up for England to lead the country to the World Cup final.

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They stumbled just short of the Webb Ellis Cup at the final hurdle, but made light work of the Wallabies along the way, demolishing the Chekan side 40-16 in Oita.

While Wismantel knows what to expect when coaching the Cheka Walias, the seasoned assistant believes the Australian has evolved as a coach and says Argentina will prove a different pot of fish in recent years.

“You always have some philosophical points that you can rely on, but the check is changed by the assistants,” Wismantel said.

“In any code, you look at all the coaches with longevity. I look at (Kevin) Sheedy, (Craig) Bellamy, I look at those types of coaches. They all improve by rotating their assistants.

Czech did it with Argentina and they are playing good football.

Argentina's Australian coach Michael Cheka talks to his players as they warm up ahead of the series decider against Scotland earlier this month.  (Photo by Pablo Gasparini/AFP)
Argentina’s Australian coach Michael Cheka talks to his players as they warm up ahead of the series decider against Scotland earlier this month. (Photo by Pablo Gasparini/AFP)Source: AFP

Cheka was appointed Argentina coach earlier this year after serving as Mario Ledesma’s assistant for the past two years and has revamped his coaching structure by bringing in former NRL hardman David Kidwell as well as Pumas great Felipe Contepomi.

Early signs are positive, with the Pumas beating Scotland 2-1 in a thrilling series on home soil.

The Wallabies’ Tests against Argentina in recent years have shown both the good and the bad of what they are trying to do under Dave Rennie and Wisemantel.

Having finished the Rugby Championship two frustrating draws two years ago, accuracy was the biggest issue for the Walleyes as Rennie’s new-look Wallabies tried to expand their game.

Attempts bombed as kicks went too long and failed to hit the mark.

As familiar as it sounds, the Welshmen have been guilty of dropping points against England on countless occasions in their 2-1 series defeat this month, most notably in Brisbane and Sydney.

“The biggest difference between Super Rugby and Test level is that at Test level you get maybe four chances in a game, at most, and you have to take them,” Wisemantel said.

“It’s something we have to get better at.”

But after arriving with Argentina in 2020, leading the defense against a brick-walled Cheka team will be vital, along with his fitness to go hard on the ball at the breakdown.

The Welsh lost the series against England 2-1. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“They’re playing a lot of rugby, they’re holding the ball longer and they’re doing really well so they’re going to test our defence,” Wismantel said.

“In terms of attack, on the contrary, they are filling the front third. There are 13 in the front row and their gap is very wide. So we have to come up with a plan to attack that.

The Whalers will assemble on the Gold Coast on Tuesday and travel to Argentina on Friday.

Selection questions remain throughout the team, particularly in halves and fullbacks. Hunter Paisami is expected to switch to center midfield and form a midfield partnership with Len Ikitau.

Wismantel paid tribute to Michael Hooper’s position in the game, whose leadership has come under new scrutiny following the series defeat by England.

“It’s respectable,” Wismantel said. “He is a strong leader.

“Michael listens, he’s a great listener. And then it compresses and distributes all the data. He either redefines, or sets up an idea and strategy and we either disagree or agree, then we go in one direction, and we go.

“He’s good at it.”

Meanwhile, Wismenatel also said Australian rugby could benefit from bringing Jones to the game Down Under after the veteran coach is linked with a return in 2024.

Wales forwards coach Scott Wisemantel is seen talking to England coach Eddie Jones ahead of the third match of the international test matches at SCGG. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I would love Eddie to come back to Australia,” said Wisemantel, who coached with Jones at the Wallabies, Japan and England.

“I don’t know in what capacity.

It was good for the game going to 2027.

“The way he promotes the game. I guess the way it’s drummed up, your business, from your end and interest.

“I am biased because I am married to him. And I worked with him.

Reports have since played down the chances of Jones returning, but the Randwick Hall of Famer’s interest is understood to be genuine.

“Dave Rennie and this coaching staff are exceptional,” added Wisemantel. So what capacity? I do not know. It may be in an ambassadorial role for Australian Rugby Union, but it would be great to have Eddie back.

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