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Eddie Jones receives support from unlikely ally

A forlorn looking Eddie Jones - PA

Eddie Jones has found a most unlikely ally as he fights doggedly to save his Wallabies coaching career following Australia’s latest French flop.


Fed-up fans are calling for Jones’s head as the Wallabies face almost certain elimination before the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals for the first time after surrendering 40-6 to Wales in Lyon.

The record defeat followed a first loss to Fiji since 1954 and leaves Jones with a dismal one-from-eight winning rate since taking over from Dave Rennie in January.

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Eddie Jones post-match media briefing after heavy loss to Wales
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Eddie Jones post-match media briefing after heavy loss to Wales

Throwing in his first stint, Jones has now presided over 15 defeats from his past 17 Tests as Wallabies coach.

But despite being controversially overlooked for World Cup selection and consigned to commentary duties in Australia, former long-serving captain Michael Hooper has called for critics to give Jones a break.

“A lot is going to come on Eddie and maybe there’s a bit of fairness to that, but I’ve been in the environment, I’ve been in the camp and no-one ‘s up in more hours in the day than Eddie,” Hooper told Stan Sport.


“That guy’s going to bed at 11 at night thinking about how to make the Wallabies team better and he’s waking up at three in the morning answering messages on how to make the Wallabies team better.


“So there’s no lack of desire for that guy to make this team the best it can possibly be.

“Now, it hasn’t worked out that way. So, yes, there’s going to be people that come under fire – players first, coaches, coaches’ staff, the greater wider rugby community in Australia.

“So let’s just pull the brakes a bit off Eddie.”

Dual international Sonny Bill Williams, a two-time World Cup winner with New Zealand, accused Jones of playing “mind games” with his young squad and was fiercely opposed to the non-selections of Hooper and fellow veteran Quade Cooper.

Disgruntled fans have lit up social media claiming Jones has wasted eight years – or two World Cup cycles – with his unsuccessful ploy of using the global showpiece as a development tour with his selection surprises.



But Hooper is calling for a sweeping review of all things Australian rugby rather than a knee-jerk reaction in making Jones the scapegoat.  

“I hate seeing people booed, regardless of who they are – opposition, whatever – because the people are putting themselves out there,” said the champion flanker.

“That’s what we’re talking about here. Players, coaches actually putting their nuts on the line to go out there and try and be the best person they could be.

“So Eddie’s done that, the players have done that. So let’s not have a crack at the bloke.

“We’ve got to look at things as a helicopter view and I hope that’s the approach taken.”



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