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'Sick of hearing about it': Australia's rugby players fed up with Eddie Jones' flirtation

By Kim Ekin
New Wallabies coach Eddie Jones (centre) poses with Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan (left) and CEO Andy Marinos (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

One of Australia’s top player agents has come out with frustrations levelled at incoming Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones and the continual dalliance in the media over rugby league players.

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Since Jones’ arrival back in Australia, there’s been no secret about his wish list of NRL targets for the Wallabies, getting involved in a war of words in the media with rugby league figures Peter V’Landys and Blake Solly.

Rugby Australia’s pursuit of Roosters star Joseph Suaalii has long been a media narrative making the headlines, while recent admiration for Cam Murray of the Rabbitohs has been a hot topic recently.

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But Jones’ approach might be rubbing up Australia’s current players the wrong way, particularly in the wake of the loss of Wallabies loose forward Pete Samu to French club Bordeaux.

One prominent player agent, David Rawlings, let fly at the current approach which he labelled a ‘debacle’ as speculation about big money offers for league players float around the media.

“The rugby players in general are sick of hearing about it. A lot of the boys are thinking, if they want NRL players, we’ll have to look elsewhere. It’s become a debacle,” Rawlings told News Corp’s Herald Sun.

‘They’ve just lost Pete Samu to Bordeaux, who’s been in the rugby system for a long time.”

Two-time Super Rugby champion Samu is the latest in a long list of players who have taken deals overseas to capture their full market value.

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The Japanese market has hovered up talent in the last few years including the likes of high profile Wallabies Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Rory Arnold and Quade Cooper.

In the emerging player tier also Australia has lost the likes of Isaac Lucas, Harry Hockings and players now capped by Japan in Dylan Riley and Jack Cornelson.

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Rawlings blasted Rugby Australia’s handling of Brumbies star Tom Wright, who his company manages, calling on the organisation to look after those who made sacrifices during the Covid years to stay in Australia.

“We’re sitting here waiting to get a deal done after the World Cup,” he said.

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“This is the current Wallaby fullback yet they’re talking about all the NRL players and million-dollar offers.

‘What about looking after your own. Loyalty works both ways. Look at the sacrifices the players have made in rugby.

“They all took a 50 per cent pay cut during Covid and didn’t get it paid back like the league guys did.”

Wright himself was an NRL player with the Manly Sea Eagles before switching back to the code he excelled at as a schoolboy.

He’s since had 50 caps for the Brumbies since joining them in 2019 and played 22 Test for the Wallabies since 2020.

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3 Comments
f
flyinginsectshrimp 459 days ago

Ah, so this entire article is not about 'players in general' who are sick of Eddie's flirtations with NRL, but rather about the agent trying to push RA to extend Tom Wright. I don't think Pete Samu has signed with a French club because Eddie's keen on Cameron Murray at 12. FFS, RugbyPass journalism (can you call it that?) is absolutely shite.

i
isaac 461 days ago

Calm down...Jones is just trying to get rugby to be the hot topic in Australia...

W
Willie 461 days ago

Everything to do with Jones is a "debacle".

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