Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma has dismissed concerns over Australia picking two specialist hookers in their 31-man squad, saying Argentina did the same in the four Rugby World Cups he played in.
The 42-year-old former hooker is comfortable with the decision to have just Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau as the rakes for next month’s rugby showpiece.
“We (Pumas) played 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 with two hookers and a prop that can play hooker and that’s the case over here,” Ledesma said on Wednesday.
He stopped short of declaring who the third choice hooker would be but it’s believed to be prop Scott Sio.
“That’s a surprise and that’s all hypothetical, so just stay with the facts and the facts today are that we have two of the best hookers and I’m really comfortable with it.”
The big concern over the two hookers for Australia is the fact Polota-Nau has been plagued by concussions recently and having him as a back-up is considered a risk.
“I think that’s covered. We are lucky enough to have two of the best hookers in the world in the squad,” he said.
Ledesma, who was brought into to the NSW Waratahs scrum by Cheika last year, has been widely praised for making them a vastly improved scrummaging unit and is doing the same with the Wallabies.
He claimed when he took over that the Wallabies scrum wasn’t as bad their reputation suggested.
“We are trying to change perceptions. I think it was a perception,” Ledesma said.
“We have to out the scrum in the place it deserves and that is being a really important part of rugby, if not, we will be playing rugby league.”