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Documentary clip encapsulates Wallabies chaos under Eddie Jones

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Friday Feb 23, 2024

Recently released “The Wallabies: Inside Rugby World Cup 2023” Stan Original Documentary Series has captured the rugby public’s attention.

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Following the Wallabies through what was their least successful Rugby World Cup campaign, the film crew were given unmatched behind-the-scenes access to the squad’s inner sanctum.

Under the tutelage of experienced head coach Eddie Jones at the time, many wondered how such a proud rugby side could be in such chaos at the game’s biggest showpiece.

Wallabies Rugby World Cup 2023 documentary to be released

Under the 64-year-old Jones, the Wallabies won just two of his nine games in charge, both of which came against tier-two opposition Georgia and Portugal.

This record, combined with a reported interview with the Japanese Rugby Union during the Rugby World Cup, saw Jones depart the Wallabies in favour of returning to another of his old teams, Japan.

Jones’s departure brought with it somewhat of a conclusion to perhaps the most contentious period of Australian Rugby in the professional era as the man who reportedly pushed to hire Jones, ARU Chairman Hamish McLennan, was soon relieved of his duties by the Union.

In what has been a fascinating insight into this chaos, the Stan documentary brought out a few interesting snapshot moments, one of which came in the wake of Australia’s record loss to Wales at the World Cup.

Speaking to experienced prop James Slipper, Jones lay into the state of the game in Australia and, more specifically, the mindset of the players.

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“That’s the problem, mate, we’ve got no hardness about us. Game hardness is different to any sort of hardness, when you just stick in the f—ing game and do it. There’s none of that in Australian rugby now, and that’s where the big gap is, mate,” Jones says.

“We’re not not tough, but we’re not trained to be tough now, and we’re not used to playing tough. Like it’s an exception to play tough now rather than the norm, it stands out like dogs’ balls, mate… it’s set up for failure, mate. They are good players and they care, they are just not hardened to play Test match rugby consistently.”

Many online have since argued that Jones perhaps had a point, whilst others have suggested that he was simply deflecting after the 40 – 6 loss.

Perhaps encapsulating the chaos surrounding Australian Rugby at the time was a simple snapshot of confusion in the Wallabies coaching box as the team could not locate a kicking tee.

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Although in the grand scheme of things, this was not a major moment it does show just how the tensions were within the set-up.

Rugby fans can catch the full documentary series on Stan Sport Australia.

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