In an historic move for Australian sports, former England scrum-half Jo Yapp is set to be appointed as the Wallaroos’ next head coach. Yapp, 44, has signed a two-year deal to lead the team through the 2025 World Cup. She will be the second female Wallaroos head coach after Shelley Lingman. The move is expected to be announced in the coming days.
The deal comes after Jay Tregonning finished up as head coach last month. Tregonning’s tenure ended with two big wins for the Wallaroos, a 29-20 victory over France and a 25-19 win over Wales. Jo Yapp, a former England captain, has quickly risen through the coaching ranks, recently becoming director of rugby at Worcester before the club collapsed in late October.
It has been reported that former Fiji head coach Simon Raiwalui was among the panel members who chose Yapp as the new head coach. Her appointment is a significant move for Rugby Australia, which is currently trying to catch up to rival playing nations England, France, and New Zealand.
The Wallaroos, Australia’s women’s XVs program, recently received semi-professional contracts and it is not yet known what Rugby Australia’s next move will be once those contracts expire. Nevertheless, with Yapp’s appointment, Rugby Australia is also closing in on securing their director of high performance. The organization is hoping to put a challenging 2023 behind them and make significant progress ahead of the 2025 World Cup.