Michael Cheika's assistant Felipe Contepomi has taken over from the Australian

Felipe Contepomi is the new Argentina coach after the legendary Puma took over from Australian Michael Cheika.

Cheika, who joined in March 2022, was in charge as Argentina finished fourth in this year’s Rugby World Cup in France, losing to England in the bronze final at the end of October.

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That turned out to be Cheika’s last game as Pumas head coach and he is now likely to be linked with a return to the Wallabies – who are looking for a new boss after Eddie Jones quit and joined Japan.

Cheika said: “I am very proud to have been the head coach of Los Pumas.

“It is one of the experiences I have enjoyed the most in my coaching career. Although I was born in Australia, a big part of me will be Argentina. I am convinced that Felipe and his staff will lead the team in the best way.”

Contepomi served as Cheika’s attack coach and had a glittering playing career as a fly-half/centre, winning 87 caps for his country between 1998 and 2013. The 46-year-old, who Cheika drafted in from Leinster when he replaced Mario Ledesma, paid tribute to his former boss.

“I had the honour of working with Michael Cheika in the consolidation of a sporting project, which challenges and excites us as part of a great Argentine team,” said Contepomi, who was coached by the Australian during his playing days at Leinster.

“For that reason I am grateful for the extraordinary opportunity that the UAR (Argentine Rugby Union) has given me.”

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