Australia: Assistant coach Scott Wisemantel sees value in Eddie Jones return

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Wallabies assistant coach Scott Wisemantel supports the decision to push for Eddie Jones’ return to Australia after his contract runs out with England after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Wisemantel worked with Jones as an assistant in the England set-up in 2018 and 2019 before taking up a position at Dave Rennie’s Wallabies in 2020.

Return would benefit the game

The 52-year-old believes a return from Jones would only benefit the game in Australia heading towards a home World Cup in 2027.

“I would love to have Eddie back in Australia,” Wisemantel told reporters.

“In what capacity I don’t know, but he would be great for the game heading into ’27; just the way he promotes the game, the way he drums up business from your end (media) and interest. I am biased because I am mates with him, and I have worked with him.

“But at the same time, and I want to make this really, really clear so you can’t draw the bow that Wisemantel wants Eddie Jones back (as Wallabies coach), I think Dave Rennie and this coaching staff are exceptional.

“So in what capacity, I don’t know. It could be in an ambassador’s role for Australian Rugby Union. But it would be lovely to have Eddie back.”

Cheika’s evolution

The Wallabies are preparing for a two-Test tour to Argentina as part of the Rugby Championship and Wisemantel believes Michael Cheika has evolved as a coach, making Los Pumas a challenging prospect.

“You are always going to have philosophical points you can lean on but Cheika has changed, with his assistants,” Wisemantel said.

“You look at coaches with longevity in any code – [Kevin] Sheedy, [Craig] Bellamy – I look at those sort of coaches. They all evolve by turning over their assistants, and ‘Cheik’ has done that as well.

“I think what he is doing and he is doing it really well, is relying on the attributes that set some of his players apart, whether that’s through power or skill, and then mixing it up. They played really well in that series against Scotland.

“They are playing a lot more rugby, they are holding the ball for a lot longer periods and they’re doing really well, so they’ll test our defence.”

Australia will thoroughly review their loss to England in the third Test of a losing series, but Wisemantel already knows his team needs to be more clinical.

“The biggest difference between Super Rugby and Test level is at Test level you probably get four chances in a game. You have to take them. It is a good learning curve and something we have to be better at,” he said.

READ MORE: Who’s hot and who’s not: Tonga qualify, a good week for Eddie Jones and All Blacks in the mire

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