Wallabies: RA chairman believes ‘the world changed’ when Eddie Jones became available

Eddie Jones during his first stint for the Wallabies. Credit: Alamy
Eddie Jones during his first stint for the Wallabies. Credit: Alamy

Rugby Australia (RA) chairman Hamish McLennan believes it is more of a risk to miss out on the chance of bringing in Eddie Jones than it is to appoint the former England head coach.

Jones was announced as the Wallabies’ new head coach on Monday, with Dave Rennie being relieved of his duties. The experienced tactician enters his second stint with the Australian side shortly after being sacked by England at the end of last year.

Golden opportunity

Speaking to the Herald, McLennan admits that when Jones was ordered to pack up his office in England, “the world changed” and RA saw an opportunity to improve on their poor win record under Rennie.

“There’s more of a risk not doing something about it when the opportunity presented itself,” McLennan told the newspaper.

“We stumbled during the spring tour. The world changed when Eddie got let go.”

In addition to leading the Wallabies, Jones will oversee the Wallaroos program, as well as RA looking to continue to grow the game in the country.

The 62-year-old will begin his new job on January 29 with a contract running until the 2027 World Cup in Australia, giving Jones two cracks at the global showpiece.

Bold target

In typical Jones fashion, the Australian believes the Wallabies can go on to win the World Cup this year in France.

“If we can have everyone fit and healthy going into the World Cup this year, I am confident that we can go to France and break the 24-year drought of winning the Rugby World Cup,” Jones said in a statement on Monday.

McLennan admits that the Wallabies needed a “harder edge”, one of the reasons Jones has been brought into the set-up.

“The team has made progress but we need to develop a harder edge. There’s no more experienced campaigner out there than Eddie. We had to take advantage of that. He’s ruthless and tough and has that twinkle in his eye,” he added.

“The profile of rugby has gone through the roof already and fans, sponsors and players will react accordingly.”

READ MORE: Eddie Jones: Reaction to the DRAMATIC appointment of the new Wallabies head coach

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