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How Jones will help Australia 'care about the Wallabies again'

By Finn Morton
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Dual international Mat Rogers has warned the current crop of Wallabies that some “snowflakes” will “absolutely hate” being coached by Eddie Jones.

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Talented playmaker Rogers rapidly rose to superstar status during his decorated NRL career, before making the switch to the 15-player game.

After starring for the New South Wales Waratahs during his first Super Rugby campaign, Rogers was called up to the Wallabies – who were coached by Eddie Jones at the time.

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Rogers, who played 45 matches in Wallaby gold, played most of his tests under the tutelage of super coach Jones.

But Jones would later head overseas, and pursue other opportunities with some of the biggest nations in the sport.

Success has followed him everywhere he’s gone, and that bodes well for the Wallabies.

Eddie is back, but as Rogers warned, not everyone will “love” how he coaches the game over the next five years.

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“It’s a strong move,” Rogers said on SEN 1170.

“With his coaching, some people will absolutely love it and some people will absolutely hate it.

“The reality is that you can hate it all you want but you are committed to him for five years.

“Either get on board or go play somewhere else.

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“He has got the results at the highest level and we want Australia to actually start to care about the Wallabies again.

“It’s a horrible position for any sport to be in and I think Eddie with rectify this.”

More than two decades have passed since Rogers’ famous test debut alongside fellow rugby league convert Wendell Sailor, and the Australian rugby landscape has changed drastically throughout that period.

The Wallabies’ stature in international rugby isn’t what it used to be.

Australia is widely considered nothing more than a fallen giant of the sport; a team who boasts potential but fails to deliver.

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The men in gold are now ranked sixth in the world, and are coming off a disastrous campaign which saw them win just five of their 14 test matches.

As for Jones, he’s enjoyed a legendary career since departing Australia’s shsores.

Jones went on to win a World Cup with the Springboks in 2007, and guide England to a final four years ago.

But the 62-year-old etched his name into rugby folklore in 2015, as Japan recorded an historic win over the Springboks in England.

Former England coach Jones was sensationally sacked by the RFU last month following a disappointing Autumn Nations Series, which opened the door for an Australian homecoming.

Rumours and speculation were rife, but Rugby Australia put any and all talk to bed on Monday morning.

Under fire coach Dave Rennie was out, and Jones was in.

And this can only be a good thing for Australian rugby.

As Rogers discussed, Jones is box office; he “won’t give a rip” about what people think as long as the Wallabies deliver results.

“He’s going to get the best out of people,” he added.

“You don’t want to screw up when you are playing for Eddie Jones.

“There are a few snowflakes that play professional sport these days and when they get yelled at, they don’t really like it.

“Eddie won’t give a rip. Whether you like it or not, you’ll cop it if you don’t do what he asks you to do.

“Maybe that’s what we need. We need a bit of a rocket and Eddie will deliver it.”

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