SCOTT Wisemantel was helping prepare the Wallabies for the World Cup at the start of the year.
Now the astute mentor is part of the coaching staff at the Hunter Wildfires.
In a major coup, Wisemantel and World Cup-winning former Wallaby Andrew Blades have agreed to consultancy roles as the Wildfires strive for a first Shute Shield premiership.
Wisemantel, who is based at Lennox Heads, will focus on skills and attack.
Blades, who recently moved to Pokolbin, will be a scrum consultant and regular at training. He has spent the past two seasons as the NSW general manager of rugby and scrum coach.
The Wildfires last year reached the play-offs for the first time, where they suffered a controversial 23-17 loss to eventual grand finalist Norths.
"To have coaches the calibre of Scott and Bladesy at the club will be awesome," first grade coach Scott Coleman said. "I am probably looking forward to it more than the players. They are great people and great coaches. They will be good mentors for me.
"When guys like that talk, players listen. I wouldn't be surprised if we get a few players knocking on the door. It will open up a pathway for recruitment.
"We have 40 kids moving to the area to play colts. It will be great for them to be exposed to such high-level coaching."
Wisemantel was an assistant at the Wallabies to Dave Rennie. He stood down in January, shortly before Rennie was replaced by Eddie Jones.
The 52-year-old was previously part of the England set up under Jones when they made the final in 2019.
He also consults to World Rugby and works with Fiji, Samoa and Tonga national programs.
"Scott loves what we are about and what we are trying to do," said Coleman, who has known Wisemantel for 20 years. "He will make 12 visits spaced out over the season. "He will run some conditioning games early and then do skills development and overhaul our attack.
"The set piece was one of strengths last season and I'm confident we can go up another level with Bladesy on board."
Wisemantel and Blades will work with the colts and women as well as the men.
Another former Wallabies assistant, John Muggleton, who has been with the Wildfires for the past two years, is likely to be the defensive coach.
Matt Hopkins, who coached Manly colts last year, will assist Coleman with the forwards. Paul Nixon remains in charge of collisions and breakdown. Dave Sharpe heads the colts program.
Preseason training starts November 20. The Wildfires kick off the 2024 Shute Shield season at home against Randwick on April 6.
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