Rugby World Cup 2023 | SPORTS

Wallabies Coach 100% Committed

“It’s not only the Wallabies we have got to improve; we’ve got to treat the whole system of Australian rugby. It’s not an excuse but we’ve got to have a really good look at ourselves and see what we’ve got to do to improve.”3
26 Sep 2023 16:45
Wallabies Coach 100% Committed
Australia’s Samu Kerevi (left) and Suliasi Vunivalu react after they lost to Wales in their third pool match at the Rugby World Cup in France on September 25, 2023. Photo: Stan Sports

Australia head coach Eddie Jones will stay committed to the Wallabies despite their possible early exit at the Rugby World Cup in France.

The Wallabies suffered its second consecutive pool match loss to Wales, 40-6, yesterday. This would be a possible pool exit for them if Fiji loses one of its remaining matches.

Asked of his commitment to the Wallabies during the post-match press conference, he said: “One hundred per cent. I came back to Australia trying to help. At the moment I am not giving much help, am I? But that doesn’t mean my commitment to helping has changed.”

“I am a proud Australian; I hate to see Australian rugby do as poorly as we have been doing, particularly under my reign.

“It’s not only the Wallabies we have got to improve; we’ve got to treat the whole system of Australian rugby. It’s not an excuse but we’ve got to have a really good look at ourselves and see what we’ve got to do to improve.”


Jones denied rumours that he talked to Japan rugby officials in late August before the RWC.

“I don’t know what you are talking about, mate. I am committed to coaching Australia,” he said.

He apologised to all the Australian supporters for not playing up to their expectations.

“Our performance was not up to the standard that was required. I apologise for that.

“I take full responsibility for it. We are disappointed; we have a young team in there very disappointed.

“They tried their hearts out but unfortunately at the moment we don’t have consistency in our play to put pressure on teams like Wales. We do some good things and then fall away. It’s very disappointing.”


On his side’s lack of experience being an issue:

“I don’t think you can ever use experience as an excuse. Some teams can become experienced really quickly.

“When you have a team like we have got at the moment, you just need a period of play or a period of the game to go well and the team can change very quickly. At the moment we have got the ability to do that so phases of play are good but the players, because they are young, they tend not to stick at it. It’s not because they don’t care, their effort just drops off a little bit. I am not sure you can use experience as an excuse but it’s definitely part of our issue.”


On believing he is the right person to take Australia forwards: 

“I think I have got the ability to turn things around. I was hoping we would be able to do it by now but we haven’t been able to.

“I take full responsibility, I haven’t done a good enough job and I am bloody disappointed about that.”

On still believing he was right to jettison a lot of experienced players before Rugby World Cup 2023:

“I was put in this job to turn Australia around. I don’t think I could have done it with the players that had been playing. I think we needed a fresh change.

“Sure, young guys struggled in the environment today but unless they get that experience they are not going to mature into the players they can be. This is the most painful time, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also the best learning time for young players. This is where they really learn about the game and learn what you need for test level.

“There is not a team I have coached that hasn’t been through this at the start of their tenure.”


On if it’s fair to say the experiment of his appointment failed:

“I can’t judge on that, can I? Because whenever we start the job you want to win games and create the best team we can but there is a process involved. As soon as you start to talk about a process people think you are trying to take pressure off yourself.

“A process unfortunately takes times, takes some pain. Sometimes it takes more pain than it does pleasure, I have no doubt what I set out to do. While it looks at the moment like it’s a shambles, I can guarantee it’s not.”


On seeing some positive signs amid the gloom:

“Massively, if I look at Angus Bell, Nick Frost, Tom Hooper, Fraser McReight, (Rob) Valentini, they are not at their best at the moment but they are making progress. Then you’ve got Mark (Nawaqanitawase) in the backline who is really making some wonderful progress. “

There’s a core group of players who are going to be really good. Some of those players, in time they are going to be world class. They are going to be the backbone of a very successful Australian team. I’ve got no doubt about that.”

On believing his team could win Rugby World Cup 2023 when he arrived in France:

“I wouldn’t care what team I took to the World Cup, if I wasn’t thinking I could win the World Cup, I wouldn’t bother going.”

On Wales head coach, Warren Gatland, and his plans to remain in his hotel on Sunday evening: “I think he is probably enjoying an Asahi beer, knowing Warren.

“I don’t think I will be going out in Lyon, I don’t think it will be a good place for me.”


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