Wallabies legend Tim Horan has grimly predicted it will take “at least two years” to rebuild Australian rugby after an embarrassing World Cup group stage exit in France.
It comes as Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan admitted he ‘hasn’t spoken to Eddie Jones’ after it was rumored he recently held secret talks to take over as Japan head coach.
Australian rugby fans want answers after being beaten 40-6 by Wales but Horan, who won two World Cups in 1991 and 1999, insisted the myriad changes will take time.
“I hope we can rebuild this team and give everyone hope in Australia,” he said in commentary for Stan Sport.
‘I (also) think we need to expand our player base. It may take longer than two to four years to regroup and regain the Wallabies’ DNA. Hopefully it can come back in the next twelve months.
Wallabies legend Tim Horan has predicted it will take ‘at least two years’ to rebuild Australia’s rugby after World Cup group stage exit
It comes as coach Eddie Jones has denied he plans to walk away from the Wallabies and coach Japan
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said he spoke to CEO Phil Waugh, who contacted Jones about the coaching speculation with Japan
Australia trailed 24-0 at half-time before Wales scored two more tries in the second half to win 40-6 (photo, dejected Wallabies center Samu Kerevi)
“I think it’s going to take a little longer.”
Whether Jones is part of the solution leading to the next World Cup – on home soil in 2027 – remains to be seen.
McLennan confirmed that RA CEO Phil Waugh had raised the Japan coaching role with Jones, who stated it was just media speculation.
Jones admitted that after the Wales defeat, Australian rugby looked like a mess from the outside, but he was confident he could turn things around for the better.
“Sometimes games like this make a good team move forward,” he said.
“I came back to Australian rugby to try and help. “(But) right now I’m not offering much help, right?
“I’m a proud Australian and we need to improve all of Australian rugby.
“I still think I have the ability to turn things around.”
Jones now has to ensure Australia beats minnows Portugal at 2.45am AEST on Monday and hopes Fiji fails to beat the same opponents and Georgia to reach the quarter-finals, but that seems highly unlikely.