Eddie Jones claims Wallabies ready to dent All Blacks' self-esteem

Eddie Jones claims Wallabies ready to dent All Blacks' self-esteem

By Alipate Narawa
Friday 28/07/2023
Wallabies Coach Eddie Jones has made some bold claims about both New Zealand and the All Blacks.

A smiling Eddie Jones has put New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins on notice to prepare for a dip in the Kiwi economy, backing the Wallabies to win the opening Bledisloe Cup clash with the All Blacks at the MCG stadium in Melbourne.

The veteran coach, who steered the Wallabies to their last Cup triumph back in 2002, has made seven changes to his team, most notably naming rookie five-eighth Carter Gordon for his first test start.

The 22-year-old will partner Tate McDermott in a new halves pairing, with Quade Cooper and Nic White on the bench while Andrew Kellaway will start at fullback.

Jones also named Jordan Petaia at outside centre and Tom Hooper in the uncustomary position of openside flanker among other surprises, with co-captain Michael Hooper still sidelined because of a calf injury.

Jones said the young halves would help the Wallabies match the pace of the All Blacks who are unbeaten this year, while Australia are 0-2.

He said he'd seen enough of Gordon to believe he was ready, seeing shades of former greats Stephen Larkham and South Africa's Butch James in the youngster.

Jones says Gordon has got a mixture of James defensively, and that little bit of a glide that Larkham had, he can take the ball at pace and has got a good passing game.

He declared it was the youngest and least experienced team he'd ever picked, but also one that didn't carry any trans-Tasman scars from New Zealand's long dominance.

The Wallabies coach says the All Blacks would have close to 1000 caps so they have got a young team out there ready to take them on with not much past history, just ready to play.

He further says they have got a very experienced bench, guys like James Slipper, Nic White and Cooper to come on and it'll be a different role for them, it will be an interesting finish to the game.

With a crowd of 85,000 expected for the last test on home soil before this year's World Cup in France, Jones said nothing would top beating the All Blacks.

Jones says there is nothing better than Australian rugby taking on New Zealand rugby because the New Zealanders all think they're better than the Wallabies.

He further says there is nothing better than winning against New Zealand because you feel the country sinking.

The Wallabies coach says it is not just rugby that sinks, the country sinks, the whole economy goes down so the Prime Minister's there with his fingers crossed hoping the All Blacks win.

He adds they have got a bit of a job here to do so maybe put the New Zealand Prime Minister on call that the economy's going to suffer and at the same time raise their stakes here.

The All Blacks take on the Wallabies at 9.45pm tomorrow.

[Source: stuff.co]

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