Argentina legend Mario Ledesma knows Rugby World Cup 2019 looms large on the horizon following his appointment as Los Pumas coach on Wednesday.
One of the best hookers in 16 seasons of international rugby, Ledesma was hired a month after the resignation of Daniel Hourcade who had taken Argentina to the semi-finals of Rugby World Cup 2015.
With the team needing to focus on a Rugby Championship campaign that starts in two and a half weeks against the Springboks in Durban, Rugby World Cup is also on the new coach's horizons.
“We need to define urgent things and Rugby World Cup will be the cherry on the top. Today we must work in defining our identity and setting up structures, but it is very clear that all of this will be useful in preparing for Japan next year.”
Argentina, who are currently ranked 10th in the World Rugby Rankings, will play in Pool C against France, England, USA and Georgia.
“It is very clear that our success will depend on how we work from now on to the World Cup.”
Ledesma, who was Australia assistant coach when they reached the final at England 2015, has signed with the Union Argentina de Rugby until the end of 2021.
The former hooker was capped 84 times by Argentina from 1996-2011 and played in four Rugby World Cups, including winning bronze in France 2007 as part of a team that changed the future of Argentine rugby.
He cut his teeth in coaching at the highest level with Stade Français, Montpellier, the Waratahs and Australia, while his first role as head coach was with Argentine Super Rugby franchise Los Jaguares, leading them to a first quarter-final.