Footage of former Wallabies stars Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper showing their leadership has resurfaced, which has only piled pressure on Eddie Jones following his decision to exclude the players from his World Cup squad. The Wallabies have endured their worst ever Rugby World Cup campaign with Jones' men set to be knocked out at the group stage for the first time in the nation's history.
The Wallabies have slipped to their lowest ever ranking of World No.10 having also suffered their worst ever World Cup defeat. Sonny Bill Williams and other greats of the game have led the criticism of Jones after his selections ahead of the tournament raised questions.
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Jones opted to leave Wallabies great Hooper at home with back-up playmakers Cooper and Bernard Foley also left out of the squad. In the lead-up to the tournament, and during it, the Wallabies have selected six captains in seven games.
To add to the woes, playmaker Carter Gordon was hauled off against Fiji and was dropped for the next game. This prompted All Blacks great Williams to question Jones' decision to not take experienced playmakers in the squad to guide the youngster.
And now, footage resurfaced of a moment between Cooper and captain Hooper showing their leadership credentials in a Wallabies victory over South Africa in an exciting 28-26 victory. The footage, taken from within the huddle, shows Cooper giving the team tactical instructions when they are able to enter South Africa's half.
Hooper then jumps in and rallies the troops before the water break ends. Many Wallabies fans commented on the missed opportunity to add experience into this World Cup team, which has come into question.
Know Alaatatoa was ruled out but, even if they didn't start, it would have been great to have the experience of Hooper and Cooper in the squad. https://t.co/MvEyaBnqlB
— EK Rugby Analysis (@ek_rugby) September 26, 2023
This is deeply upsetting
— Kristy & Willy Kaye (@KristyKaye5) September 26, 2023
Skelton needs to come home and rive it here though Petrus. We need some of those guys back to make out teams better - both guided and skilled.
— Greg (@WilburMNC) September 26, 2023
Those experienced men are so vital in those situations. People with lived experiences are critical to any mission, operation or campaign. I’d love to see more clips like this!
— Andrew Brownhill (@AndrewBrownhil) September 26, 2023
All Blacks greats Williams took aim at Jones for his selections after the embarrassing 40-6 loss to Wales. "I feel for these boys, for the fans. I'm going to keep it real on here. They were up against it right from the start. Questions need to be asked from selections, to the mind games that Eddie Jones has been playing with these kids, these guys. There is a guy in the studio back home who should be here right now," Williams said of Hooper who wasn't selected for the World Cup.
Eddie Jones committed to helping Australian rugby
Plenty of criticism has been laid on Jones and the Wallabies in what can only be described as a disaster. However, Jones has been adamant his long-term plan was to build for the next World Cup in Australia to give the Wallabies a chance to compete at home in four years.
"One hundred per cent I'm committed," Jones said. "I came back to Australia trying to help. At the moment I am not giving much help, am I? But that doesn't mean my commitment to helping has changed.
"Whenever you start the job you want to win games and create the best team we can but there is a process involved ... it unfortunately takes times, takes some pain. Sometimes it takes more pain than it does pleasure, I have no doubt what I set out to do. While it looks at the moment like it's a shambles, I can guarantee it's not."
Barring an absolute miracle, the Wallabies will miss out on making the knockout stage for the first time in World Cup history. But if that's not bad enough, they've now fallen to their lowest all-time ranking as World No.10.
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