With seven months to go until the Rugby World Cup, returning coach Eddie Jones has dismissed any suggestions that there won’t be enough time to turn the ship around.
“We’ve got plenty of time,” he said on Nine’s Today.
“We’ve got the time, which is enough – and Bob Dwyer who won the World Cup in ’91 always used to say; ‘if you can’t change a team in a week, you can’t coach’. We’ve got more than a week, so let’s hope I can coach.”
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Rugby Australia on Monday announced the return of Jones, 18 years after he last coached the Wallabies in 2005, handing him a five-year deal that will take him through the next two World Cups.
Jones said he was ‘excited’ about the prospect of coming back to the helm of the Wallabies for the next two World Cups, as well as the 2025 Lions tour.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity,” he said.
“It’s nice to get the opportunity to have another go at the Wallabies and the help lift Australian rugby to where we would like it to be.”
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While he’s feeling delighted about the return, he said there’s no time to sit back and celebrate.
“That’s a good feeling – but there’s a lot of work to do and, you know, we’re all going to have to get in together from the community clubs to the local clubs to Super Rugby and get the Wallabies winning again.”
He knows there’s no easy fix, as 2022 was one of the leanest years on record for the national team – and the higher ups knew a change had to be made after an awful spring tour, axing Dave Rennie in a move that Wide World of Sports’ Nick McArdle wrote was the biggest decision made by Rugby Australia “in the last 20 years”.
Jones said it won’t just be the Wallabies that’s a priority – but every pathway leading to the highest level.
“There’s a lot of systems that we can look to customise for Australia to help make sure that talent comes through,” he said.
“Because there’s a lot of talented players – like most countries, it’s how you bring that talent through to the top level.”
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