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Jones melts down in 'worst press conference' ever as Wallabies depart for World Cup

By AAP

Defiant coach Eddie Jones turned on the media as the Wallabies prepared to fly out for the Rugby World Cup in France, saying they’re determined to prove their critics wrong.

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Winless in four Tests since replacing Dave Rennie in January, the pressure on Jones has rocketed ahead of the tournament which gets underway next month.

Jones made a number of shock selection choices last week in his World Cup squad, including dumping long-time captain Michael Hooper and veteran playmaker Quade Cooper, who has refused to answer any phone calls from the veteran coach.

A testy Jones was unhappy to be probed about his player selection at Sydney airport before the team’s departure and said the media were too negative.

He described the press conference as the worst he had experienced in his many years in world rugby.

“I know what’s wrong with Australian rugby and you blokes are part of the problem because you’re so bloody negative about everything,” Jones sai d.

“We’re going off to a World Cup you think we can’t win, you think the selection process is bad because the players complain.

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“We’re terrible. You know we’re terrible. Just tell us we’re terrible and we’ll prove you wrong.

“I can feel this negativity, I’ve got to wash myself off, it’s sticking to me.

“Thanks for the worst press conference I’ve ever had in world rugby – you ought to give yourself upper cuts, fair dinkum.”

Jones said Cooper, who was overlooked with youngster Carter Gordon the preferred No.10, was “very upset” and he had tried to make contact with the 35-year-old.

“I tried to ring him and I can’t get a hold of him – that’s all I can do,” Jones said.

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“I’m disappointed the players are upset but all I can do is ring. If they don’t take your phone call you can’t talk to them.”

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Jones also fielded questions about his assistant Brad Davis, who quit this week leaving the Wallabies without an attack coac h ahead of their World Cup opener against Georgia in Paris on September 10 (AEST).

They face hosts France in a pre-tournament Test on Monday, August 28.

Jones said Davis, who only took on the role in May, had resigned for family reasons and insisted he already had a replacement in mind.

“There’s an opportunity for us … we’ll improve our coaching staff,” Jones said.

“There’s a potential candidate ready to step up now.”

The Wallabies are looking to best their 2019 quarter-final loss against a Jones-coached England side in Japan.

Jones said he felt “much more confident” than he did when he took over about the chances of the Australians succeeding at the game’s global showpiece.

“We’ve got the right squad now, we’ve got the right balance of energy, enthusiasm and youth on our side; we’re ready to go,” he said.

“Yesterday our training was the best I’ve seen by a mile … we’re ready to show the world what we can do.”

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