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The Will Skelton reaction to Eddie Jones becoming Wallabies boss

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

France-based second row Will Skelton has given his reaction to this week’s shock development of Eddie Jones being named Wallabies coach at the expense of Dave Rennie. The 30-year-old La Rochelle forward had spent five years in the Test-level wilderness until he was capped by Rennie versus Scotland in November 2021.


Skelton went on to earn three caps in that Autumn Nations Series and was back involved again for the most recent series of matches two months ago. He wasn’t included in the Wallabies squad for the start-of-year training camp held by Rennie in Australia due to his commitments in France.

But all bets are off with regards to the Wallabies selection now that ex-England boss Jones has been appointed and Rennie axed eight months out from the start of the World Cup. Speaking to RugbyPass as part of an in-depth interview to be published next weekend, Skelton explained how he found out about the dramatic decision taken by Rugby Australia about their head coaching role.

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“There were a few articles that I read before I went to bed (on Sunday night). We found out that Dave had been let go and Eddie was taking over. That is how I found out. It was just texting the boys and I saw a few articles.

“I was just getting used to all the systems and stuff (under Rennie) but man, that’s rugby. That is what happens. It’s a business at the end of the day and you have got to take care of yourself I guess.


“Mate, it’s exciting. I loved working with Dave but you know what happens, the national team is the pinnacle. It’s definitely results-based but whatever happens with Eddie I know he will do good for Australian rugby in general,” said Skelton, who hasn’t before been coached by Jones.


“No, not coaching-wise. I passed him in the corridor a few times when he has been at Saracens and said hello and whatnot and I’ve seen him after games but no I haven’t been coached by Eddie… It’s not always the size (of the coach), I’ve heard that he flies into the boys, he is quite feisty, which is nice.”

Asked about his Wallabies ambitions for 2023 and making it to the World Cup, Skelton added: “That’s the goal, it has always been a goal of mine to play in a World Cup to play for my country. Hopefully, if I can control what I can control and that is playing well here in France (with La Rochelle), then whatever happens happens.

“It’s always special (to play for the Wallabies). I remember being in my first squad in 2013 or 14 so to be named again in 2021 and again last November, it is always a special feeling, special for myself and my family.

“Just to be involved, it’s so cool being in the pressure cooker of international rugby again and everything changes. There is a lot on the line when you are playing for your country. Those challenges I relish and I also love playing with guys I grew up playing with at the start of my career.


“Guys like Michael Hooper, Allan Alaalatoa, Kurtley Beale when I see him around, guys like that who shaped my career when I was younger and helped me. It’s always good to be back.”


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RUGBYPASS+ Rhys Carre: 'I've stopped trying to be someone I'm not' Rhys Carre: 'I've stopped trying to be someone I'm not'