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Eddie Jones reflects on Wallabies’ World Cup ‘disappointment’

By Finn Morton
Eddie Jones, Head Coach of Australia, looks on during the warm up prior to the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Australia and Portugal at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on October 01, 2023 in Saint-Etienne, France. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Australia’s Rugby World Cup campaign is all but over. Barring an incredible upset on Sunday between Portugal and Fiji, the Wallabies will bow out at the pool stage for the first time ever.

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With coach Eddie Jones at the helm, the Wallabies started their campaign with a promising 35-15 win over Georgia in their tournament opener at Stade de France.

But their next two matches defined the Wallabies’ tournament. Australia were beaten by Fiji in Saint-Etienne and then suffered a record World Cup defeat to Wales in Lyon.

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The Wallabies bounced back with a hard-fought 34-14 win over Portugal at Stade Geoffrey-Guichard on Sunday evening, but they aren’t in control of their own destiny.

If Fiji fails to register even a losing bonus point against Los Lobos in the final match in pool play at this year’s World Cup, then the Wallabies will live to fight another day.

“The disappointment is we haven’t controlled our own destiny,” Jones said after the 20-point win over Portugal in Saint-Etienne.

“In a pool stage, you want to control your own destiny and we haven’t done that. As I’ve said, I take full responsibility for that.

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“What am I pleased with? When I look at the squad and I look at the number of players that have improved individually then I am really pleased. A lot of these players have really bright futures, as this team does.

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“If we keep sticking at it, keep working hard, keep focusing on what’s important then we will be a good team and won’t have this sombreness that’s around Australian rugby at the moment.”

There are some serious questions that remain unanswered about Jones’ future with the Wallabies. The 07 World Cup winner penned a five-year deal in January but has failed to deliver.

The  Wallabies will likely finish their first year with coach Jones back in the hot seat with an undesirable record of seven losses from nine Tests.

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Jones, 63, has also been linked with a move to Japan following a report from The Sydney Morning Herald which suggested he’d interviewed for their soon-to-be vacant head coach position.

Following the win over Portugal, and ahead of the Wallabies’ bye week, Jones was asked about his future once again.

Points Flow Chart

Australia win +20
Time in lead
75
Mins in lead
7
89%
% Of Game In Lead
8%
31%
Possession Last 10 min
69%
5
Points Last 10 min
2

“I am going to have three days off then three days of training so I’m heavily involved. That’s the only answer I am going to give you at this stage. I don’t mean to be rude, but I have got to focus on coaching this week,” Jones added.

“It’s three days off. Do you want to know where I’m going to go? I’ll have to make something up as I have no idea at this stage. Maybe take some cava to Fiji, maybe that might work. I’m thinking of giving Marika [Koroibete] and [other players] credit cards.”

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