Why Eddie Jones could be Australian rugby’s savior even if he fails to achieve World Cup and Bledisloe success in his second coming as Wallabies mentor
Even if he doesn’t win the Rugby World Cup in September or New Zealand doesn’t win another Bledisloe Cup this year, Eddie Jones can still be regarded as the savior of the sport in Australia.
The recently appointed Wallabies coach – for the second time – has quickly revived the sport after replacing Dave Rennie in January.
Evidence of Jones’ magic touch was reflected in the crowd of more than 25,000 who gathered at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Friday as the Waratahs hosted the Brumbies in their Super Rugby Pacific season opener.
In recent years, the competition has struggled to lure fans through the gate – but with Jones back at the helm of Australia, there’s hope that the struggling code can regain relevance on local shores.
Rennie was a dull character compared to Jones, who has already ruffled some feathers on the NRL after stating that Cameron Murray and Ryan Papenhuyzen are on his player list.
Following his appointment in January, Eddie Jones was a much-needed breath of fresh air for Rugby Australia
Jones replaced Dave Rennie as Wallabies coach – the pair are opposites in personality
And given that Jones had successfully poached Lote Tuquri, Mat Rogers and Wendell Sailor ahead of the 2003 World Cup, history could easily repeat itself, leaving Peter V’Landys and company looking nervously over their shoulders.
Sydney Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii also knows that if he moves on to rugby, a contract of at least $1.5 million per season will follow from RA.
Not bad for a 19-year-old who wouldn’t earn half that amount in rugby league right now.
Jones, 63, was the breath of fresh air Rugby Australia needed.
Tellingly, the Wallabies last won the Bledisloe Cup against the All Blacks in 2002 – and the continued defeats have seen rival codes rejoice year after year.
Jones also knows very well that if Australia wins the World Cup in France in September, a statue will follow.
Maybe even a street parade in his honor.
This week Jones continued the hype and wrote an open letter to the Australian rugby community.
Jones previously coached the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final where they lost to England
The message was clear – if everyone is on the same wavelength, why not dare to dream?
“Australia has the talent to win the Rugby World Cup in Paris on October 29,” Jones wrote.
“At the moment we don’t have the team, but we do have the talent. “We also don’t have a clear path from where we start today to where we want to end up.
“Ultimately, that path will be set by the Australian players and the choices they make between now and then.
“That path will be created by the standards the players set for themselves and their teammates.”
The inspiring words were Jones to a tee, who as always wants the players to perform.
If they don’t, code will continue to die a slow death in Australia.
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