Jay Tregonning is excited about taking the Wallaroos to the next level after being announced as head coach on Tuesday.
Tregonning will begin with the side in October taking over from Dwayne Nestor with an eye to next year's World Cup as he looks to improve on their quarter-final exit from 2017.
Having served as an assistant during their 2014 campaign, the former Australian Barbarians Schools coach is excited to guide the program and develop their understanding of the game both on and off the field.
“I’ve gained plenty experience as assistant coaches at different levels, including the Wallaroos previously, in schools and club footy had some head coach experience with since with the Australian Barbarian Schools and New South Wales Country Schools…I’m really ready and willing to put myself out there and take a few risks to try and coach as successful a program as I can,” he told Rugby.com.au
“The more that I coach, the more that my education background went hand in hand so I think a lot of the stuff that I do is about educating players not only obviously developing skills, but understanding tactics and why we’re doing things.
“Part of my philosophy is educating people and trying to make them understand the game better but also understanding Rugby's role in creating better people as well, not just on the field.
“That's a big goal of mine is to ensure the athletes that I coach, enjoy the game of Rugby but learn and appreciate the game for what it brings to life.”
Since his first stint with the Wallaroos seven years ago, Tregonning believes the side's skills have been transformed as regular competitions such as Super W and AON Uni Sevens have provided pathways for players to regularly play.
He believes he can complement their growth, especially within set-piece play, as they hunt for a maiden victory over the Black Ferns.
“Yeah, I think there's a great mix of experiences and youth within that PONIs squad that's been selected,” he believes.
“Obviously, there's certain aspects that need to be improved on from a set-piece point of view. But I really believe that since I was last involved with the girls in 2014 (Rugby World Cup), the introduction of Super W, the more quality games that girls are getting, the more they're improving.
“I really believe that they're in a much better place than when I was last involved in them. I think there are certain areas that are obviously exceptional and certain areas that we need to try to improve on but the biggest thing to me again will be them playing together.
"...From a cultural point of view, I’m massive on people enjoying their time in camp in regards to obviously being together getting to know each other, but also enjoying their time on the training paddock and then hopefully that transfers to enjoying success on the field in the game. But also obviously owning what they're doing and how they contribute to the team, doing the extras to make themselves better, that's going to be beneficial to the team, not just themselves.
“My main goal within the next short period of time is trying to get to know the girls as best as I can and try to support them within the difficult time that everyone's facing through lockdown and the uncertainty of what's going on and then hopefully when we get together, we're all ready to gel and rip in.”
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With Wallaroos Tests against Samoa and New Zealand cancelled due to COVID, he admitted competitions like Super W will be crucial towards their development as they explore every avenue possible to adequately prepare them for the World Cup in New Zealand.
“Rugby Australia are always looking at trying to get us games, obviously within the current climate it's very difficult,” he added.
“They are definitely investigating opportunities that are there's nothing that can be obviously concreted down yet, but they definitely Rugby Australia are working tirelessly trying to get the girls opportunities before Super W, which is going to be crucial next year in regards to competitiveness and game time for the girls as well.
“If we can get something before that there's going to be an added bonus but Super W next season is going to be crucial for our performance leading into the World Cup."