New Wallabies coach Eddie Jones says the international rugby union can turn around very quickly, and that after a "reasonably rough period", Australia is one of a handful of chances to win the Rugby World Cup if they get the next nine months right.
Speaking to ABC Sport after his first week back in charge of the national team, Jones discussed the challenge ahead for this year's tournament, his coaching philosophy, the volatility of world rugby and a range of other issues.
Jones said he had spent the week meeting staff, watching game footage, speaking to senior players on Zoom and generally hitting the ground running in his new role.
Asked if he was allowing himself to think long-term, as far as the opportunities for the next Rugby World Cup on home soil in 2027, he replied:“The only thing I’m worrying about, I’ve got it written here on my board is ‘smash-and-grab'.
Jones follows Dave Rennie as coach of the Wallabies.
His predecessor won just 13 games out of 34 in charge, but Jones — who said Rennie did "an extremely good job in difficult circumstances" — was optimistic about the future for the team.
There has been plenty of debate already about this year's World Cup being wide open, with the chance of a Northern Hemisphere team winning for only the second time ever. Jones agreed, but pointed to the last time the tournament was held as a signal of how quickly things can change.
He said you look at South Africa in 2019, in 2018 they had a winning percentage of under 40 per cent. By 2019 they win the World Cup, which he well remembers.
Jones said sport now in every sport, it's more volatile, because of the Head Impact Assessments, TMO, red cards and yellow cards.
He said it's the team that adapts, that learns the most over the next nine months that will be the ones holding up the William Webb Ellis Cup.
Jones is an experienced international coach, with stints in charge of Japan, England and assisting with South Africa as well as Australia.
Jones said it would take him a few months to assess the team and work out the balance that was needed before deciding on a captain to take the Wallabies to France for the Rugby World Cup.
He said he would be watching for talent in Super Rugby, starting with this weekend's Waratahs vs Brumbies trial at Griffith.
Jones said 2014 was the last time they won the Super Rugby when it included New Zealand, and 2015 they made the final of the World Cup.
[Source : ABC sport]
Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations