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Eddie Jones: Rugby world needs a strong Wallabies team

By AAP
(Photo/PA)

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England coach Eddie Jones has tried to soften the blow after masterminding yet another win against his countrymen, saying the Wallabies did their country “proud”.

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Jones made it eight wins out of eight over Australia, spanning five long years, but was not about to rub in England’s superiority after their 32-15 win at Twickenham on Sunday morning (AEDT).

The 61-year-old former Wallabies coach brushed aside a question about how much satisfaction it gave him to maintain England’s unbeaten record against Australia under his stewardship, saying: “I don’t look at it as personal.”

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Instead, he said the Australians had given his powerful, revamped outfit a run for their money until the final 20 minutes, which may have been a generous verdict after Dave Rennie’s men had not threatened to cross their line.

Despite the Wallabies’ two defeats on the British leg of their tour, Jones declared: “I think they’re going in the right direction, mate.”

He also had encouraging words for the future of the game in his home country.

“I think it’s important for world rugby that we have a strong Wallabies,” he said.

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“Dave Rennie’s done a good job, he’s brought a lot of players through.

“It’s difficult time for them at the moment, they’ve been in the bubble a long time and they’ve got to show fire, which they did today.

“They hung in there – we were just too strong for them in the last 20.

“If you look what’s ahead for Australian rugby, they’ve got the World Cup 2023 in France, they’ve got the (British & Irish) Lions coming in 2025 and there’s probably been a handshake about them getting the World Cup in 2027 and so they’ve got a lot to look forward to.

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“The Australian sporting environment needs a strong Wallabies – and the world rugby environment needs it too.

“So you’ve got to be positive.

“I think they should be proud of their efforts today given the circumstances they’ve been in.”

Jones, who has a couple of Australians on his staff, said: “I was talking to one of the Wallabies’ staff who I know quite well.

“He said he hadn’t seen his family for four months because of the COVID situation – so it’s tough for those guys.

“So we should be very grateful that they’ve come up here and they’ve done this tour to keep world rugby going.”

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