Jones secures Hodgson as first Wallabies assistant

Eddie Jones has finally landed an assistant coach ahead of the Wallabies' Rugby World Cup assault, with former Wests Tigers and NSW State of Origin fullback Brett Hodgson to take on the defensive responsibilities.

One of the worst kept secrets in Australian rugby was finally confirmed on Monday afternoon, just a couple of days after Hodgson and Jones had been sighted together in the stands at Allianz Stadium for Friday night's Super Rugby clash between the Waratahs and Brumbies.

He has signed a two-year deal through to the end of 2024 and will begin his role effective immediately.

Hodgson had only late last year been in the United Kingdom serving as Jones' replacement for Anthony Seibold as England's defence coach, only for the 63-year-old to then be sacked himself.

Hodgson was relieved of his duties soon after, with Steve Borthwick instead bringing in his fellow Leicester man Kevin Sinfield to run England's defence.

But with Jones then quickly signed as Wallabies coach in place of the sacked Dave Rennie, Hodgson was always considered to be among the front-runners for an Australia coaching team that last week saw Dan McKellar and Petrus du Plessis depart their roles. Laurie Fisher had also been told he was not required by Jones.

"Brett's a hard-working and detailed young coach who will be a great asset to the Wallabies and the coaching staff," Jones said of Hodgson.

"He's worked under some great coaching mentors like Gus Gould and Tim Sheens in his time as a player and a coach, so he's well-schooled and I know he'll give his best to the job of producing best defence in world."

Hodgson's most recent coaching job in rugby league was with Hull in the English Super League.

Hodgson, 45, said he was thrilled to be joining the Wallabies for their run to and beyond the game's showpiece event.

"I'm really excited to be back in Australia and working with the Wallabies, especially in a World Cup year," he said.

"There's plenty of hard work ahead and I'm looking forward to hitting the ground running and making a positive contribution to the team.

"The Wallabies are a team everyone in Australia loves to get behind and from what I've seen so far there's plenty of talent here and that's something that's really exciting."

Jones is also expected to soon announce that former Wallabies playmaker Berrick Barnes will also join his staff, while reports continue to link former attack coach Scott Wisemantel with a return to the coaching team.

Wisemantel stepped down from his role late last year citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

But it is believed Jones has convinced his former England assistant to return in a consultancy role in a move that will be widely applauded across the Wallabies playing ranks.