Why Eddie Jones could be the savior of Australian rugby, even if he FAILS to deliver World Cup success and Bledisloe in his second coming as mentor to the Wallabies
Even if he doesn’t win the Rugby World Cup in September or New Zealand win another Bledisloe Cup this year, Eddie Jones could still be considered the savior of sport in Australia.
The Wallabies’ newly appointed manager – for the second time – quickly re-energized the sport after replacing Dave Rennie in January.
Proof of Jones’ magic touch was reflected in the crowd of over 25,000 that gathered at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Friday as the Waratahs hosted the Brumbies in the Super Rugby Pacific season opener.
In recent years the competition has struggled to attract fans – but with Jones back in charge of Australia there is hope that the struggling code can once again become relevant on local shores.
Rennie was a bland character compared to Jones, who has already ruffled some feathers in the NRL after declaring the likes of Cameron Murray and Ryan Papenhuyzen to be on his hit 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 two are polar opposites in terms of personality
And given that Jones successfully climbed Lote Tuquri, Mat Rogers and Wendell Sailor before the 2003 World Cup, history could easily repeat itself, leaving Peter V’Landys and company looking nervously over their shoulders.
Sydney Roosters young point guard Joseph Suaalii also knows that if he defects to rugby, a contract worth at least $1.5 million a season will follow from RA.
Not bad for a 19-year-old, who at the moment wouldn’t be earning half that in rugby league.
Jones, 63, has been the breath of fresh air Rugby Australia needed.
Notably, the Wallabies last won the Bledisloe Cup against the All Blacks in 2002 – and continued defeats have left rival codes gloating year after year.
Jones is also aware that if Australia win the World Cup in France in September, a statue will follow.
Perhaps even a street parade in his honor.
This week, Jones continued the hype, penning an open letter to the Australian rugby community.
Jones had 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 page, why not dare to dream.
‘Australia have the talent to win the Rugby World Cup in Paris on 29th October,’ wrote Jones.
‘Right now, we don’t have the team, but we have the talent. ‘We also don’t have a clear path from where we started today to where we want to end up.
‘Ultimately, that path will be shaped by the Australian players and the choices they make between now and then.
‘That path will be created by the standards players set for themselves and their teammates.’
The inspiring words were Jones to a tee, which as always, wants onus on players to run.
If they don’t, the code will continue to slowly die in Australia.
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