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Ex-Fiji lock joins Cheika's Wallabies as forwards coach in time for summer Tests against Ireland

Simon Raiwalui helped Stade Francais claim their Bouclier in 2015 and is currently working with Biarritz.

Raiwalui has a word with Sergio Parisse in 2016.
Raiwalui has a word with Sergio Parisse in 2016.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

FORMER FIJI INTERNATIONAL Simon Raiwalui was today appointed as the Wallabies’ new forwards coach and will assume the role once he wraps up his club duties with Biarritz in France at the end of this season.

The 43-year-old was recruited to take over from Mario Ledesma, who left to become coach of the Jaguares in Super Rugby, in time for a three-Test series against Ireland in June.

“I’ve learned so much about the game in the northern hemisphere and I think it’s been crucial for me as a forwards coach,” said Raiwalui, whose contract with the ARU will runs until the end of 2019.

“There’s so much focus on that side of the game in Europe so I hope I can bring home some of those learnings to Australian rugby.”

Auckland-born Raiwalui had an illustrious playing career that included stints with Racing Metro and captaining Saracens in the English Premiership.

His first coaching role was with Racing Metro in 2012 before moving to arch rivals Stade Francais where he claimed the Bouclier de Brennus in 2015.

Simon Raiwalui. Pat Lam and Shane Howart Raiwalui, left, captained the Pacific Islands team coached by Pat Lam who played Ireland in the last international before the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“We had a quality group of candidates for this role from Super Rugby, international rugby as well as French and English rugby. Australians and foreigners,” said Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.

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“We had the luxury of taking our time to ensure we had a lot of detail in our selection process and the final choice of Simon was very clear for us.

“His quality of character, along with his technical detail and passion for Australia was a mix that proved a very potent argument for his selection.”

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