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‘I quite fancy ourselves’: Eddie Jones backs Wallabies to challenge All Blacks

By AAP
Head coach Eddie Jones during the Australian Wallabies training session at Sanctuary Cove on June 29, 2023 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones knows his Wallabies have no right to be confident but the coach still fancies his Bledisloe Cup chances.

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Jones will name his squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand on Thursday, their first assignment at the MCG on July 29.

Fit-again prop Taniela Tupou and versatile back Andrew Kellaway are among players likely to return to a side that has been beaten by South Africa and Argentina since Jones replaced the axed Dave Rennie.

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The results have dropped Australia to eighth in the world rankings with just three Tests to play before their World Cup campaign begins in France against Georgia on September 10.

The All Blacks have powered to wins over South Africa and Argentina to lead the Rugby Championship.

But Jones, who coached the Wallabies to their last Bledisloe Cup series win in 2001 and beat New Zealand in the 2003 World Cup semi-final, can’t wait.

“I quite fancy ourselves against New Zealand,” he said.

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“I don’t think we’ve got any right to be confident.

“But what we can do is prepare really well, get out of the blocks, put them under pressure, which we will do.

“If we’re able to match that in the first 20 minutes and put a bit of pressure on them, which they haven’t had this year, then funny things can happen.

“I like coaching against New Zealand. It’s like the highlight of the year.”

Jones said even if Australia lose their last three Tests before the World Cup – they’ll also play the hosts once they arrive in France on August 28 – they can still mount a charge at the trophy.

He even observed the All Blacks’ fast start as somewhat uncharacteristic of the three-time world champions.

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“Usually they have a much more moderated start and build up to the World Cup, but I think because of the change in the coach post the World Cup they’ve said, ‘stuff this we’re going to hard right from the first minute’,” Jones said.

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1 Comment
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Barry 363 days ago

EDDIE JONES IS SO DESPERATE TO WIN THAT HE MAKES THE ALL BLACK TRC TEAM WITH TWO WINS ALREADY MORE DETERMINED TO WIN BOTH GAMES CONVINCINGLY!

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Turlough 5 hours ago
Jean de Villiers' three word response to 'best in the world' debate

This ‘raging’ debate is only happenning in media circles and has never been a topic in Ireland (although SA media are interested). It makes the media companies money I guess. SA are RWC champions and #1 ranked team although Ireland are back within a point there. The facts point to SA. For a lot of 2021 France beat ALL their rivals and Ireland similar in 2022-2023. It is not wrong to say that on such form either can be deemed to be the current best team if they have beaten all their rivals and ranked #1. The ‘have to have won a world cup’ stipulation is nonsense. The world cup draw and scheduling has been tailored to the traditional big teams since the start. The scheduling also which sees the big teams sheltered from playing a hard pool match the week before has also been a constant. It is extraordinary that for example France have made so many finals. Ireland who were realistically only contenders in 2023 were in a Pool with two other top 5 teams and had to play one of them 7 days before a quarter final against France or New Zealand. Always going to be a coin toss. Scotland’s situation was worse. New Zealand had great chances in 1995, 1999, 2007 but they could not win a tight RWC match. The first tight match they ever won was versus France in the 2011 final, literally they lost every other tight match before that. Some of those NZ teams around that era were #1 surely?

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