Drew Mitchell in fresh Wallabies swipe amid ongoing Eddie Jones furore

The comments come as drama continues to surround under-siege Wallabies coach, Eddie Jones.

Drew Mitchell is calling for clarity from Rugby Australia amid ongoing reports linking Eddie Jones to the Japan coaching role. Pic: Getty
Drew Mitchell is calling for clarity from Rugby Australia amid ongoing reports linking Eddie Jones to the Japan coaching role. Pic: Getty

Former Wallabies star Drew Mitchell has taken a fresh swipe at Rugby Australia (RA) as drama continues to swirl around under-siege Wallabies coach Eddie Jones. Australia's coach fronted the media last week to address his future with RA, amid fresh reports he was shortlisted to take over as coach of Japan, having denied talking with the Brave Blossoms before the Wallabies' disastrous World Cup campaign.

RA chief Phil Waugh revealed he spoke to Jones during the World Cup and said he could only take the coach's word that he had not been speaking to Japan about the head coaching role. Despite an insistence from Jones that he is "100 per cent" committed to the Wallabies and plans on leading them to the 2027 World Cup, reports in Japan have continued to link him to the vacant coaching position.

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Speaking on his podcast The Good, The Bad & The Rugby: Australia, a clearly annoyed Mitchell has called on RA to pick up the phone and call their Japanese counterparts in a bid to clear up any confusion. "There's been all this chat and dialogue about Phil Waugh, the CEO, who hasn't spoken to the Japanese union. Just get on the phone. Let's get clarity," Mitchell said.

"The ambiguity creates frustration, creates anger, and creates toxicity on social [media]. Let's get as clear as we possibly can because at the moment we're having to take Eddie's word for it when at the time he's being questioned.

"We're not getting anything from (RA chairman) Hamish McLennan or Phil Waugh. Get as much information as you can, get clear, and then give it to the people that actually care about this game....

"Call up the Japanese union and say, 'Have you made contact with Eddie Jones? Where are you at with it?' If it's nothing, then great, we can start to believe that because at the moment Eddie is saying, 'I haven't made a call' but there are still parts of us that aren't believing it."

Drew Mitchell tore strips out of Eddie Jones and his questionable Wallabies selections. Pic: Getty
Drew Mitchell tore strips out of Eddie Jones and his questionable Wallabies selections. Pic: Getty

Jones was signed on a big-money five-year deal to replace Dave Rennie as Wallabies coach, and guide the side into the 2027 World Cup. The veteran mentor would therefore be entitled to a huge payout if he were sacked, rather than walked away from RA.

Mitchell let rip at Jones in a foul-mouthed rant about the Wallabies during the World Cup, criticising the veteran coach's controversial omissions and focus on developing young players. The former Wallabies star also claimed the revolving door of captains for the national side was symptomatic of a broader RA leadership issue across the board.

"You talk about leadership in an organisation, we've had six captains in seven games, we've had a multitude of changes at CEO level, president level, coaching level..." Mitchell said at the time. "You've (Jones) made some glaring decisions around Quade [Cooper], around Michael Hooper, six captains in seven weeks, like, f*****g explain some of these decisions to us. Because, as fans, we're all sitting here scratching our heads."

Drew Mitchell wants Eddie Jones 'fully committed'

Mitchell says he still believes Jones made a massive mistake by not picking a more experienced Wallabies squad for the World Cup. He says if Jones is genuine about wanting to take the Wallabies to the 2027 World Cup, then the veteran coach needs to be "fully committed" to the cause.

"Maybe this is the cynical side of me – because we don't necessarily have clarity – you've gone down a route and you've backed a young developing squad, stick it through," Mitchell said. "You've also made some pretty crucial calls on some players that in my opinion should have been there and would have helped us.

"You've got four years to develop for the next World Cup and two years before the British & Irish Lions. They could have helped with some of that experience you left at home, but you didn't give us any clarity on that. All that being said, if you're staying, be fully committed.

"Some people in our comments [section] have said, 'You guys backed him'. Yeah, at the time. We were lured in.

"We wanted to believe … we had to get around the team but then there came a point for me personally where there were some decisions made, some lack of transparency, where I was like, 'I've got to say something'. I can't sit there and blindly back something. Clarity is paramount."

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