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Why Eddie Jones is the ‘right man’ to turn Wallabies around

By Finn Morton
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones smiles during an Australia Wallabies training session at Brighton Grammar School on July 25, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

After helping the Wallabies retain the Bledisloe Cup in the early 2000s, dual international Mat Rogers “wouldn’t have believed” that Australia wouldn’t win it again for more than two decades.

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The Wallabies won back the prestigious cup with a three-nil series sweep of the All Blacks in 1998. It was the start of something special for the men in gold.

Australia retained the cup for another four years – capping off half a decade of rugby dominance over their neighbouring rivals New Zealand.

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For those in their early 20s, it’s somewhat unfathomable.

The All Blacks won back the prestigious cup in 2003, and they haven’t looked back since. New Zealand have been relentless in their pursuit of one of the biggest prizes in rugby for a Kiwi.

It means that much to them, and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

Playing in front of more than 83,000 people at the world-famous MCG last weekend, the All Blacks put on a clinic as they ran away with a comfortable 38-7 victory.

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Australia showed glimpses of promise and plenty of fight, but it wasn’t nearly enough to send this series to a Bledisloe Cup decider.

The drought continues.

“The way things are going, they need some significant change for it not to be another 20 years,” former Wallaby Mat Rogers said on All Talk with Hello Sport.

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“New Zealand are just a powerhouse.”

The Wallabies have started their new era under coach Eddie Jones with three consecutive defeats, and it doesn’t get any easier for them ahead of the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Australia play the All Blacks again this weekend – this time on New Zealand soil – before taking on World Cup hosts France in Paris at the end of this month.

Many rugby fans would suggest that the Wallabies will go 0-5 under Jones going into their World Cup opener against Georgia.

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But Rogers, who made his Test debut under coach Jones in 2002, isn’t panicking.

The former Wallaby is confident that Rugby Australia has “got the right man at the helm” ahead of more attempts at Bledisloe Cup redemption.

“I think they’ve got the right man at the helm to wrestle it back,” Rogers added. “It’s going to take some time.

“If there’s one thing Eddie Jones can do it’s create an upset in world rugby.

“He got Japan to beat South Africa, that’s unique. That’s a bigger upset than Australia beating New Zealand.

“I think they’ve got the right guy at the helm, I think it’s going to take a little bit of time – he’s still trying to work out who his team (is), who he can use, who he needs, where he needs to fill some gaps.

“Unfortunately he’s got to do it on the world stage because there’s no other place to do it when you’re the Australian coach.

“There are gonna be a few teething issues early.”

The Wallabies take on arch-rivals New Zealand at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

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