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Rugby Union: Peter Horne arrival starts new Wallabies era

The arrival of Peter Horne as the new Director of High Performance with Rugby Australia looks like it could be a new line drawn in the sand for the Wallabies.

After a disastrous World Cup last year in France and the departure of head coach Eddie Jones that followed, Horne will be looking to hit the ground running in February as he looks to change the Wallabies’ fortunes around.

Plenty of experience behind him

Having been Director of High Performance at World Cup for the last 11 years, Horne has now been tasked with overseeing the Wallabies, Wallaroos and the Sevens programs going forward.

Also working previously in the English Premiership with Saracens as their GM, Horne’s experience of working with club teams should stand him in good stead he prepares to form partnerships with the Super Rugby teams.

Getting this relationship between the Super Rugby sides and the pathway to the national sides will be crucial in getting Australia competing for silverware again with the Wallabies, Wallaroos and the Sevens teams.

It’s something Horne has already highlighted himself and it will be intriguing to see what changes he brings to Rugby Australia over the coming months.

“We have an opportunity to purpose-build a new Wallabies program from scratch,” he said. “There is universal agreement across the Super Rugby clubs that the high-performance systems and pathways need a major overhaul to ensure everyone is pushing in the same direction; to deliver sustainable success for our Wallabies, Wallaroos and Sevens teams.

“To have this sort of agreement and understanding on the path forward is exciting and I look forward to working with the Australian Rugby community.”

Horne to be well supported

The other news over the past week has been that David Nucifora will join Horne as a High Performance Advisor.

Previously linked with replacing Jones in the head coach role, Nucifora will return to Australia after a successful spell with the Irish national side.

The former Brumbies coach and Wallabies hooker, helped Ireland reach number one in the world rankings and helped them win a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2023.

Horne and Nucifora will be working together to bring in a replacement for Jones and get the Wallabies back on track after a difficult couple of years for the national side.

Rugby Australia has certainly not rushed appointing a replacement for Jones and with Horne not in his new role until February, there is unlikely to be an imminent announcement on the new Wallabies head coach.

A positive appointment would be a strong start for Horne and Nucifora on the road back to challenging in the business end of World Cups down the line.

Australia are 8.00 to win the next World Cup which takes place on Australian soil in 2027.

Last year’s runners-up New Zealand are 3.50 favourites to claim the title, while reigning champions South Africa are 4.00 to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.  

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