Lennox resident looms as Waratahs' assistant

FORMER Ballina rugby union coach Chris Hickey has long been linked with the Waratahs coaching job that will be vacated by Ewen McKenzie after this weekend's Super 14 final between NSW and the Canterbury Crusaders.

And another Far North Coast resident is looming as a possible contender.

Lennox Head's Scott Wisemantel, who was the Wallabies' skills coach under John Connolly until after the 2007 Rugby World Cup, has been mentioned as Hickey's possible assistant coach.

Wisemantel is currently in Japan doing some consultancy work with one of the country's Top League clubs and was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Wisemantel has worked with Hickey before, most notably as a player with Eastwood when Hickey was the club's first grade coach.

The professional coach moved to Lennox Head only a few months ago with his young family and immediately linked with the local rugby club.

"I was standing there at training with Pete Blakey one night watching and he turned up and asked if he could have a run," Trojans president Barry Kiddle said.

"We said go for it and then he said 'My name is Scott Wisemantel'.

"I knew who he was then and I said 'As a matter of fact we have Harry Witt training out there'."

Witt, Lennox Head's first grade captain, was a NSW Under-17 player who had some dealing with Wisemantel who was the then Australian Under-19s coach and an elite player development coach with the Australian Rugby Union.

Wisemantel has played two first grade matches with the Trojans this season at inside centre.

He is also a former coach of French club Montferrand.

"He is a very good teacher and he has passed on some marvellous drills to the club," Kiddle said.

"He just turned up out of the blue and he's taking his playing casually with us."

A former five-eighth with Eastwood and the Parramatta Eels league team, Wisemantel is also drawing plenty of rugby big names to the area.

Former All Black Murray Mexted visited him at Lennox recently and managed to fit in a surf, while Waratah captain Phil Waugh is considering attending the Trojans' presentation night as a favour to Wisemantel.

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