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Eddie Jones admits his future with Wallabies at stake

By AAP
Eddie Jones, Head Coach of Australia, during the warm up prior to the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Australia and Georgia at Stade de France on September 09, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones says he’s unsure if he will be coaching the Wallabies beyond the World Cup if they fall to Wales in their crunch pool clash in Lyon.

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His team face the embarrassing prospect of becoming the first Wallabies side to miss the quarter-finals in tournament history should they lose.

Jones said there would be a review at the end of the tournament and despite his contract through to the next tournament in 2027, held in Australia, said he may not be at the helm.

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His record is one win from seven Tests since replacing Dave Rennie in January.

“At the end of the World Cup there’ll be a review and given the results we’ve had then maybe Australian Rugby doesn’t want to keep me,” Jones said.

“That’s the reality of the job I live in and I understand that.”

Linked to the Japan national job, Jones was repeatedly pressed by a journalist on his commitment to coaching the Wallabies but refused to answer, saying he was only focused on the match against the unbeaten Welsh.

“I’m just worried about coaching against Wales this week,” was his response.

Jones has overhauled the Australian team, dumping veterans including long-term skipper Michael Hooper and playmaker Quade Cooper.

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He insisted he had no regrets and said he was prepared to make some hard decisions to improve Australian rugby, despite the frustration of fans about their run of results.

Head-to-Head

Last 5 Meetings

Wins
3
Draws
0
Wins
2
Average Points scored
27
21
First try wins
40%
Home team wins
40%

“I don’t try to make myself out as a saint but sometimes you’ve got to take some hard decisions to get the results further down the track,” Jones said.

“I’ve got no doubt we’ll win on Sunday, the way the team’s prepared and have come together.

“But if we don’t, then sometimes you’ve got to do the work that allows you to be successful further down the track.

“I don’t know of any team that you can come in and blow magic over, you’ve got to go through a process and you’ve got to find out what’s wrong with the team and then you’ve got to try to address those problems.

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“So, I sit here very comfortably feeling like I’m doing the job I should be doing.

“I know people are upset about it, and I understand that … because the results aren’t good enough, but sometimes there’s some pain before you get some success.”

Jones was asked why he didn’t wait until after this World Cup in France to make such changes but said he needed to blood young players now.

“Those guys have been around, results over the last period of time haven’t been what they need to be and our results are even worse, but sometimes you’ve got to do that to go forward.

“We need to create a new group of players that have higher standards of training, higher standards of behaviour, higher standards of expectation, that’s what we’re trying to do mate.

“I don’t think waiting is the right answer, you need to start building a team.

“To win a World Cup I reckon it takes six years … very rarely it’s done before that.”

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mitch 46 minutes ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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