Rugby Australia board member Daniel Herbert and chief executive Phil Waugh are both confident Eddie Jones still has the magic needed to make the Wallabies a contender in 2023.
Herbert, a Rugby World Cup-winning centre-back, was part of the cause behind Dave Rennie’s sacking and Jones’ surprise return in January.
Although he initially spoke of hope for recent results, the Wallabies have not been encouraging under Jones so far, losing to the Springboks in Pretoria and being disappointed by the Pumas in Sydney to go 0-2 in the Rugby Championship.
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“I never thought it would change so quickly and all of a sudden you change one thing and it has an immediate impact,” Herbert told Wide World of Sports.
“Every team he goes in, every position will be a little bit different, but you can’t question the record in my opinion.
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“Australia, we’ve been very quick to cut and change and go in different directions… work in progress but, no, real faith in Eddie because he’s got the competition.”
Jones has led teams to the World Cup finals in 2003 and 2019 and was assistant coach of the Springboks to the 2007 triumph.
“Looking at the past is the best indicator of what will happen in the future and whether we are sixth in the world or eighth in the world is irrelevant. You want to be first,” said Herbert.
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“We haven’t got there (under Rennie) and we have to make some changes to get there and I think we have to change a few things in the game a lot more.”
Waugh, the former Wallabies captain who played under Jones, made no attempt to hide his disappointment when speaking to reporters during the British and Irish Lions’ tour of Brisbane on Wednesday.
“There was a lot of hope going into Pretoria,” Waugh said.
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“We started well and didn’t turn the pressure into points. Argentina, patches were good and, again, a quick start, but they didn’t score as many points as they should have in the first 10-15 minutes so the Argies came back.
“Bad punishment, Eddie said. But more and more we want to be No.1 in the world so we have to work hard and build the Australian culture of fighting hard, and that has been our competition for a long time.
“Eddie coming back is driving passion and pride so it’s important.”
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