Wallabies coach reportedly 'looking at potential options elsewhere'
The RFU’s stunning decision to axe super coach Eddie Jones nine months out from next year’s World Cup may add more drama to the “fascinating” international coaching merry-go-round.
While England only managed to win five Test matches this year under Jones, the rugby guru will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest coaches of all-time.
But that’s not to say that his time as an international rugby union coach is over.
Australian-born Jones has been successful everywhere he’s gone in international rugby, which includes World Cup final appearances as a head coach with both the Wallabies and England.
But the 62-year-old etched his name into rugby immortality during the 2015 World Cup, as he led Japan to a brave upset win over the Springboks in Brighton.
While there is plenty of speculation regarding Jones’ future – having been linked with a potential move to the United States – it seems he may be set for a return to Australian shores.
According to Tom Decent from The Sydney Morning Herald, Rugby Australia “are serious about trying to entice Eddie Jones” to return the Wallabies setup in some capacity.
Decent also believes that under fire coach Dave Rennie is “resigned to the fact” that he may not receive a contact extension after next year’s World Cup.
“Dave Rennie has spoken about hoping to receive a contract extension post the World Cup. I think he’s possibly resigned to the fact that won’t be happening,” Decent said on The Platform.
“He’s, to our understanding, looking at potential options elsewhere. Rugby Australia haven’t moved on that or given any clarity as to whether they would give Reenie an extension beyond 2023.
“Dave Rennie hasn’t spoken publicly since all the Eddie Jones has happened… it would be intriguing to see his views on this.”
The wounded Wallabies had a disastrous campaign this year in terms of results, with inconsistent team selections and poor discipline costing the men in gold in thrilling Tests.
Australia stated their season with a hard-fought win over Jones’ England, before losing six of their next eight Test matches.
Their end-of-season tour wasn’t much better, losing three of their five matches by three points or less – and they would’ve lost four had it not been for a staggering Welsh collapse in Cardiff.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the men in gold, who showed plenty of fight and toughness throughout an injury-ravaged campaign.
The Wallabies beat England and South Africa this year, arguably should’ve beaten the All Blacks in Melbourne, and fell just short of epic wins over the world’s top two teams Ireland and France.
“I think you have to give Dave Rennie a little bit of the benefit of the doubt,” Decent added.
“They had an incredible amount of injuries which is being subject to a review as is.
“You can’t argue with the fact that there was an incredibly high number if injuries within that camp for the likes of Quade Cooper, Samu Kerevi.
“Huge, big names players who are going to be very pivotal at the World Cup for Australia weren’t available for Rennie.
“In a season where they won five Tests from 14 matches, it’s not a great result on paper but they got very close to Ireland, they should’ve beaten France as well on that end-of-season, probably deserved to beat New Zealand in that Bledisloe One.
“So, it’s really hard to get a gauge on where this team is at but I think if they had everyone at their disposal, they go a little bit better.
“But Dave Rennie is under no illusions (that) it’s a results driven game. His win record is the lowest of any Wallabies coach in the professional era, so he understands that.”
Following last months’ Autumn Nations Series, the Welsh Rugby Union made a bold decision to remove Wayne Pivac as head coach, and replace him with Warren Gatland.
It’s no secret that Wales probably needed drastic change ahead of next year’s World Cup, after losing to Georgia for the first time and squandering a seemingly unconquerable lead against Rennie’s Wallabies.
Then, about a day or two later, the RFU made the headline-grabbing decision to axe Jones – who had won three Six Nations titles with England.
But as Decent said, there is set to be “a number of different coaching positions up for grabs” after next year’s World Cup in France.
“I think Scott Robertson is an absolute lock to coach the All Blacks post Ian Foster, regardless of what happens at the World Cup.
“But a very fascinating time in terms of the coaching merry-go-round, particularly with Eddie Jones being sacked.”
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So well deserved!! Arise Sir WayneGo to comments
The 20s got nailed at scrum time so are gonna have to address that somehow.Go to comments