Wobblies’ World Cup challenge

Rugby’s worst-kept secret was made public on Thursday when John Connolly was named as the new Wobblies coach.

The 54-year-old coached Queensland from 1989 to 2000 before guiding leading European clubs Stade Francais, Swansea and, most recently, Bath.

Connolly said was looking forward to next year’s World Cup in France.

“I don’t mind a challenge and they don’t come bigger than winning a World Cup,” he said. “It’s a great privilege to coach the national team. We’ve got 20 Test matches to get the team in a winning position.”

After their nightmare 2005 season, the Wobblies have become the laughing stock of Aussie sport, but Connolly refused to dwell on the past.

“I am focused on the positives,” he said. “I will have the benefit of a new coaching structure and what will be an excellent coaching team around me.

“Super 14 provides the opportunity to look at more players than we have in the past with greater competition for places.”

“We do need to think about the game differently and I think the coaching structure we are looking at is innovative. Importantly, with the right people in place it will address the key problems.”