Wallabies coach Eddie Jones says he is “not at all” worried about the fact he is yet to lock in any assistants for what he calls a “smash and grab” Rugby World Cup mission.
The World Cup kicks off in France in September and Jones is bullish about Australia’s prospects after taking Dave Rennie’s job in dramatic fashion in January.
Stephen Larkham has ruled out reuniting with Jones while Michael Maguire said he decided to honour his commitment to Ricky Stuart as a Raiders consultant.
Watch the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. All matches streaming ad free, live and on demand
But while Larkham declared himself a non-starter, Jones said borrowing a Super Rugby coach for a World Cup campaign remained a possibility.
“We haven’t discounted anything at this stage,” Jones said at Australia’s Super Rugby launch, before dropping his jewel thief analogy.
“We’ve got a bit of a smash and grab job so we need people who can do a smash and grab job. So this is like a nine and a half month, we’ve got to do this.
READ MORE: Youngster turns $187m hero ‘into a traffic cone’
READ MORE: Aussie pair make history in thumping win
READ MORE: Worrying trend could ‘derail’ NRL big guns
Eddie’s emotional return to old school
“There’s a beautiful jewellery store around the corner. We’ve got to get four or five coaches that can work together, can bring together a team, get in there, steal the trophy and get out without getting caught. So they’re the sort of people we need.”
The demanding Jones was notorious for churning through assistant coaches during his tenure with England but said he wasn’t bothered by the criticism.
He said there was no specific timeline for wanting to lock in his coaching team, although the last 6-8 weeks of Super Rugby would be crucial from a selection perspective.
NEW PODCAST! Sean Maloney and Morgan Turinui preview the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season with the coaches and captains from the five Australian teams
Jones vowed he would not ask Super Rugby teams to play in a particular way.
“We’re not New Zealand, we’re not Ireland, we’re Australia. And so we have a relationship with the Super Rugby coaches,” Jones said.
“I want them to play the style they want to play. But what I want to see is the players play with that toughness. That want to get better. That want to help their teammates in difficult situations. That’s what I want to see.”
JONES ON WHETHER HE WOULD LOOK TO BASE THE WALLABIES AROUND A PARTICULAR SUPER RUGBY TEAM…
“I’m definitely a cohesion subscriber. But I don’t control that. If there’s one dominant team in Super Rugby we can have that, but if there’s two dominant teams then it will be different and if there’s three equal teams it’ll be different.
“So I don’t control that. So I can subscribe to that theory but I don’t control it.”
JONES’ OPINION ON SUPER RUGBY STANDARDS IN RECENT YEARS…
“COVID was a tough period, I think. I don’t think the level was fantastic in COVID, but certainly this year I think there’s a great chance to have a very solid competition.”
JONES ON THE NEW LAW VARIATIONS IN SUPER RUGBY…
“I think the whole concept is right. We want the game to be, we want more ball in play in the game, we want the game to have more continuity, we want the fans to have a greater chance to see the game of rugby.
“So I think it’s very positive. I was partly involved in it so I’m a big fan of it… I think it’s great, mate. The more we put them under pressure in Super Rugby the better it is.”
Scotland star scores ‘video game’ try
JONES ON THE SIX NATIONS AND WHETHER THE GAME IS OPENING UP FROM AN ATTACK PERSPECTIVE...
“Not unless Wayne Barnes referees very game, and I think he’s 45 so there’s not much chance of that. Ireland are a high possession team and Wayne tends not to referee everything to the letter, he tends to referee the spirit of the game, so he gets a good game of rugby.
“France are trying to play a little bit like Toulouse and I think they are strategically using the Six Nations to develop their game. Of course they want to win, but I think they’re prepared to maybe be a bit more exploratory at the moment.
“So we get this all the time, we get outliers; it’s like if you go and drive there’s a percentage chance of having an accident and the average chance is average because that’s what happens. It’s the same with the ball in play; the ball in play goes between 30 and 35 minutes, you get outliers of 45, and you get 29 minutes against South Africa.”
JONES’ INPUT INTO MANAGING WALLABIES PLAYER WORKLOADS IN SUPER RUGBY…
“I think the modern term for it is load management, is in place. We’ll keep discussing that with the Super Rugby coaches. One of the key aspects in this period of time is to develop good relationships with Super Rugby coaches.
“We’ve started that process so there’s a load management in place. There’s certain tiers of players, but we’ll keep discussing that with the Super Rugby coaches.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here