There’s nothing new about a Wallaby coach
being sacked, but Eddie Jones’s demise has taken the public blood sport to a new
Among the offerings since Jones was
officially chopped on Friday afternoon are the mischievous and defiant
performance by Jones himself, a scathing attack on George Gregan for disloyalty and lack of compassion by News Ltd’s
Peter Jenkins, a suggestion of disturbing interference
by the ARU president in team selection, and Fairfax columnist and former
Wallaby Peter Fitzsimmons suggesting Alan Jones’s ridiculously over-the-top attacks on Eddie Jones date from
certain things Eddie said about Alan and a player during a Randwick v Manly
game way back when Eddie was hooking for the former and Alan was coaching the
See what mischief the kiddies will get up
to when there’s no actual rugby being played to keep them busy?
Eddie Jones’s sacking was inevitable both
for reasons of style and statistics – as Crikey subscribers well know. Eddie, a
great statistician himself, admitted to the Sun-Herald he knew it was over after the defeat by England – but that didn’t stop him
fighting to and after the end, giving the ARU a few kicks in the head in
passing, claiming nothing less than that he’d be back to coach the Wallabies
again. The Weekend Australian had the salient quotes, including:
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“I’ve had two bad coaching years in my life – ’98 with
the Brumbies and 2005 with the Wallabies. They are seven years apart.”
Which is stretching it more than a little –
Eddie’s career as Wallabies coach was set to end much earlier except for two
great games the side turned on in 2003 – the semi-final and final of the World
Cup. His record in away games against major nations is nothing short of woeful.
Of course, as a professional coach looking
for his next gig (straight after picking up $600K or so from the ARU for breach
of contract), Eddie has every reason to talk himself up. And he does have one
very valid point – the ARU should have waited until he had handed in his report
on the European tour. No-one doubts that Eddie Jones has a good rugby brain and
his input to the promised top-to-bottom review could have been useful.