Rugby Australia has today announced key appointments to the Qantas Wallabies staff, including Scott Wisemantel as an assistant to Dave Rennie on a four-year deal.
The 49-year old will serve as Attack Coach and returns to Australia after helping to guide England to the Rugby World Cup Final in Japan last month.
Wisemantel has a proven International pedigree having previously served as Skills Coach for the Wallabies for four years from 2004, as well as experience with the Manu Samoa and Japan national teams on top of what he achieved under Eddie Jones working with England over the past 18 months.
A former Eastwood player in Sydney’s Shute Shield, Wisemantel also played Rugby League with the Parramatta Eels and has been deployed by World Rugby over the past two years to run coaching combines in the Pacific Islands, Europe and the Americas whilst consulting to England.
New Qantas Wallabies Attack Coach Scott Wisemantel said: “I’m really looking forward to returning home to Australia after ten years and for the opportunity to work alongside Dave Rennie. “I’ve learnt a few things from working with various programs around the world and it’s given me another perspective on how to view the game as an Attack Coach. Historically, the Wallabies have been innovative in how they play the game and how they attack so I want to bring that to the table.
“There’s a good group of players with some exciting talent coming through, which will create competition for spots amongst the current crop. I’m looking forward to get stuck into it and visiting the Super Rugby teams early in the New Year, seeing how I can learn off them and prepare for a really important 2020 season,” Wisemantel said.
Rugby Australia also today confirmed world-renowned elite sports performance specialist Dean Benton has been appointed to the key role of National Head of Athletic Performance.
Benton re-joined Rugby Australia in late 2018 from the Rugby Football Union in England, to lead the athletic performance program for the Wallabies through their 2019 international and Rugby World Cup campaigns.
In his new role as national Head of Athletic Performance, Benton will oversee the athletic performance and sports science elements of the national high performance plan. He will work closely with the athletic performance staff across Australia’s national teams, Super Rugby and Academy programs to align and enhance systems, structure, knowledge and coaching across all programs. A new Wallabies Athletic Performance Manager to work under Benton will be appointed in early 2020.
Benton has worked with Premiership-winning teams in Rugby and Rugby League across three competitions and two continents over the past decade after launching his career with the Australian Institute of Sport back in 2001.
Joining Wisemantel in the new-look Qantas Wallabies staff is experienced high performance manager, Chris Webb who has been appointed to the role of General Manager, Wallabies.Webb re-joins the Wallabies set-up in an overarching team management role having previously been involved with the team as Assistant Team Manager from 2005-2007.
Since then, Webb has gone on to serve in General Manager, High Performance roles with the NSW Rugby Union, Western Force and Equestrian Australia. He has spent the past three years in Japan as High Performance Advisor for the Japan national team and Sunwolves Super Rugby team.
Rugby Australia Director of Rugby Scott Johnson said: “These are all important appointments for what we want to achieve with our Wallabies program and broadly for the implementation of our national high performance plan over the next four years.
“Scott’s return to Australia is a huge coup for the Wallabies. He’s got great experience and has had success with club sides in Europe as well as with other International sides, but I also know what he’s like as a person and as a coach and he will add tremendous value to the group.
“Dave (Rennie) has been closely involved in the appointment of Scott and I know those two guys will complement each other really well,” Johnson said.
“As far as Dean is concerned, he’s been with the team for the past year and has had a significant impact on the physical preparation and conditioning of the Wallabies squad.
“Dean has an almost unrivalled resume when it comes to athletic performance coaching and we are going to tap into his expertise in a much more significant way in a new role which will see Dean coordinate our approach to athletic performance nationally by working in with the staff at each of our national, Super Rugby and Academy teams.
"I have known Chris Webb for many years and have worked with him previously in the Wallabies set-up and I know the qualities and experience he will bring to the management team will pay significant dividends.
“All three of these appointments are at the top in their fields and will give our teams the best chance for success across the Australian Rugby landscape.”