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Fixing the 'f***' moments: Eddie Jones tackles the Wallabies' poor habits

By Finn Morton
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 15: The Wallabies huddle during The Rugby Championship match between the Australia Wallabies and Argentina at CommBank Stadium on July 15, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

The Wallabies have lost their first two Test matches under Eddie Jones, and the legendary coach has had enough.

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Looking to turn the Aussies’ fortunes around, Jones has had to “break” some poor habits and issues that have followed the Wallabies for years.

Walking into the post-match press conference after the Wallabies loss to Los Pumas a fortnight ago, Jones had a smile on his face – but the 63-year-old was far from happy.

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The loss had been frustrating, and the coach expected to win that Test. Things just didn’t go to plan for the men in gold who fell painfully short of a victory.

Jones spoke both confidently and characteristically after the Test, as he always does, and previewed the upcoming changes that the rugby world could expect to see from his Wallabies.

But their next challenge is a tough one. Hoping to avoid a run of three straight defeats, the Wallabies will take on the All Blacks at the MCG.

The All Blacks are the heavy favourites, and with good reason.

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But Jones isn’t panicking. The coach has beaten the All Blacks before, and was practically licking his lips at the prospect of doing so again.

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Flanker Jed Holloway revealed that Jones has been looking to “break” some of the Wallabies poor habits ahead of their rugby war with the All Blacks.

“We got stuck in being disappointed in ourselves once an error or something is made… and missing an opportunity make amends,” Holloway said on Thursday.

“It’s more so just recognising that in ourselves and making sure we’re putting the team first in every case like that because as rugby players you do it a lot.

“Whether it’s a lineout or a skill error or you miss a tackle, you sit there and go, ‘F***.’

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“Eddie’s just trying to get us to go out of those habits and go, ‘Alright team first, what’s next?’

“Just recognising that and making sure he sees a reaction and he’s definitely let it known to us if he didn’t see it at training.”

The All Blacks are first on The Rugby Championship ladder after opening their season with back-to-back wins over Argentina and South Africa.

This might be the best the New Zealanders have looked under current boss Ian Foster. There’s a reason Jones considers the All Blacks “the best in the world.”

“My history against New Zealand is important. It’s always the biggest game mate, you’re playing against the best in the world,” Jones told reporters.

“When you’re playing against them, not many people think you can win so that’s the opportunity for us.

“We’re an Australian team, we’re developing, we’re moving along a pathway but can we put the Kiwis under pressure on Saturday? Yes, under a lot of pressure and maybe they’re going to get a bit of a surprise.

“We’re ready to go mate. We’ll see what happens.”

Coach Jones has made a couple of bold changes to his starting side, including an untested combination in the halves.

Halfback Tate McDermott will start his first Test under coach Jones, and will be joined by rising star Carter Gordon at flyhalf.

Angus Bell, Nick Frost, Tom Hooper, Jordan Petaia and Andrew Kellaway have also been thrust into the starting side this week – Jones making a total of seven changes to the team that lost to Los Pumas.

The Wallabies take on the All Blacks at the world-famous Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday evening in the first of two Bledisloe Cup Tests.

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