Noriega quits ARU to join French club

Australian Rugby Union high performance scrum coach Patricio Noriega has confirmed he is leaving the role to take up a coaching position with French club Racing Metro.

The former Wallaby and Argentina international has been Australia’s scrum coach since 2009 but will head to France to link up with former Pumas teammate Gonzalo Quesada – who is the Paris-based club’s head coach.

Australian Rugby Union high performance manager David Nucifora said Noriega had been a top asset for the country’s front-rowers.

“Pato has made a significant contribution to Australian Rugby, both as a player and more recently mentoring both the current and future generations of front-rowers,” Nucifora said.

“He leaves with our best wishes for what is an exciting career opportunity, as well as our thanks for all of the good work that he has done.

Noriega moved to Australia in 1996 after five years representing his homeland, going on to represent the Wallabies in the 1999 World Cup before retiring in 2003.

He then coached in Argentina before returning to take on the scrum coaching role, which included stints as the Wallabies scrum coach from 2009 until last year’s Spring Tour.

He was a consultant for this year’s June Tests, assisting new forwards coach Andrew Blades.

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