Hickey wants to talk to Wisemantel

INCOMING NSW Waratahs rugby union coach Chris Hickey is interested in talking to Lennox Head's Scott Wisemantel as a possible addition to his staff for next season's Super 14.

Hickey, a former first grade coach with Ballina, was quick to praise Wisemantel when asked by The Northern Star if he had any intentions of employing the former Wallabies skills coach.

"Obviously it's early days but getting the coaching support staff in place is an important priority," Hickey said.

"I'm aware of Scott Wisemantel and the skills he could potentially add to the team and I'm interested to talk to Scott to see where he sees his life heading."

Wisemantel, who was the Wallabies skills coach under John Connolly at last year's World Cup, moved to Lennox Head earlier this year where he now runs a coaching consultancy business.

He's just returned from a three week stint in Japan with one of the Top League clubs.

"I've spoken to Chris but in saying that I speak to Chris regularly," Wisemantel said.

"We're always in touch bouncing ideas off each other. We've known each other for a long time."

Wisemantel was actually a student at Oak Hill College in Sydney's north west when he met Hickey who was a teacher there.

When Hickey returned to Sydney from Ballina and Canberra they resumed their partnership at Eastwood where Hickey was the first grade coach and Wisemantel the club's first grade five-eighth.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed NSW coach has indicated he's keen to spread the Waratah word into regional NSW.

When asked if we could see the Waratahs making regular appearances in Ballina, Hickey laughed: "I think I'd be accused of being extremely prejudiced if I did that. "But some of my experiences in country rugby have been some of the best days of my coaching life.

"I understand the importance that country rugby plays in the fabric of NSW rugby.

"I'm sure there will be a few opportunities to see some Waratahs running around on the North Coast."

With a brother in Ballina, a sister in Ocean Shores and a mother-in-law in Wollongbar, Hickey wouldn't need many excuses to visit.

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"It will make life so much easier."

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