The rugby union knives are out and swinging with the ARU CEO Gary Flowers forced to write a defence of his performance in TheSydney Morning Heraldyesterday, an unprecedented level of near-unanimous sledging of the Wallabies captain in the Australian media and the ever-present questioning of the coach’s capability.

The bagging of Eddie Jones was taken to a new level in public by Alan Jones at what was supposed to be a tribute lunch for Wallaby coaches at the NSW Rugby Union Club. The other four former coaches present tip-toed around the elephant in the middle of the room but the Parrot gave him both barrels, as you can read here.

According to A Jones (coach of the 1984 Grand Slam Wallabies side) E Jones is squarely to blame for the Wallabies woes:

You can’t have it both ways. On the one hand, the man in charge has had unlimited control of the team. Is he now telling us he’s picked the wrong people? Or is he saying the people don’t exist? They’ve always existed. Those are questions of judgement and coaching.

This man has had every available resource … we’re talking about jumbo jets, we’re talking about Coffs Harbour camps, this is a phenomenal amount of money to pour into a side to now be saying, ‘oh well, we now need a scrum academy, we now need to reassess our players and re-think it again’. Well, what have we been doing with all this money and all this time? If the bloke knew there were going to be problems, what’s he done about it? He’s got it wrong, sorry, and you have to admit you’ve got it wrong.

…There’s a major problem here. Eddie Jones has had his go, he’s done his best, and his best now is not good enough.

So Alan, what do you really think of Eddie as a coach?

Meanwhile, back in gloomy Wales, there will be another second division test match this weekend. As was the case against Ireland, Australia has superior individuals in most positions and should win relatively comfortably, but, as was the case against Ireland, the locals have everything to play for, nothing to lose and this Wallaby team is not what it should or could be. Greg Growden’s SMH report on Wallaby preparations doesn’t inspire confidence.

There is a footnote worth marking, as Wayne Smith does in The Australian:

Amid all the furore surrounding his place in the side, George Gregan will celebrate his 50th Test as Australia captain, a tally topped by only one other Wallabies captain, his immediate predecessor, John Eales. It is an outstanding achievement by Gregan, if for no other reason than he has managed to persevere in the job for about 40 Tests more than his critics would have liked.