Eddie Jones' delusions laid bare in new documentary about Wallabies' World Cup flop

The former Wallabies coach makes some very telling comments in the new Stan doco.

Eddie Jones, pictured here alongside Wallabies players.
New comments from Eddie Jones have come to light in a documentary about the Wallabies' campaign at the Rugby World Cup in 2023. Image: Stan/Getty

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has labelled sections of the Australian rugby media "idiots" in a parting shot sure to stir up old hostilities. Referring to "the worst press conference I've ever had" - when Jones told reporters at Sydney Airport to "give yourselves upper cuts" after they questioned why he had left so many experienced players out of his World Cup squad – Jones unloaded a second time in the Stan documentary 'The Wallabies – Inside Rugby World Cup 2023'.

"I thought it was ridiculous. And it shows the paucity of Australian Rugby journalism at the moment," he says in the fly-on-the-wall, three-part series, covering his disastrous tenure. "Australian rugby is in a bad spot and you've got a couple of idiots parading as journalists asking questions about players that have been left out.

"We're about to go on a World Cup (tour) with a bunch of young players who deserve the opportunity. I thought it was completely out of context and completely inappropriate."

History shows the media was right to demand explanations, with the Wallabies bowing out of the World Cup at the pool stage for the first time. The lack of experienced players came back to bite Jones in a big way, with injuries to key players and embarrassing losses to Fiji and Wales exposing the side's lack of depth and maturity.

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The documentary, produced by CJZ and Karlinberg Entertainment, takes viewers into the inner sanctum, from Jones' first days of his second coming as Australian coach. It gives you an insight into how strongly Jones believed – or wanted to believe – he could pull off a miracle.

"We've got 145 days (before the World Cup) to get it right. Today's the first day of training before we become the greatest team Australia's ever seen," Jones tells his players in a meeting.

Wallabies players, pictured here training before the Rugby World Cup.
A screenshot from the new Stan documentary about the Wallabies' Rugby World Cup campaign.

Amid much laughter, he then produces an electric cattle prodder to emphasise how far he is willing to push the players to reach their potential. But laughs are in short supply as Australia goes on to lose its next five games.

Before the fourth of those defeats – against the All Blacks in Dunedin - Jones implores his young team to create a new chapter. "We need new heroes for young kids to follow and you have the opportunity to be the new heroes of Australian rugby," he says.

"We're building up to a performance where we're going to f***ing fight for each other. And you will be the new heroes of Australian rugby and kids will want to be like you."

Eddie Jones' telling comments about state of Australian rugby

The final episode details the Wallabies' World Cup implosion and Jones' reported dealings with Japan rugby officials over taking on their head coaching role. The news breaks on the morning of the must-win Wales game, which ends with a heavy 40-6 loss in Lyon.

"There's no truth to it," Jones insists. "Once you get on the bad side of the press, which I have, they're going to keep coming for you. When they think they've got something on you, they will go for you hard."

Prop James Slipper says of the breaking story: "Would it be a distraction? Probably, yeah, it would be for some people. Great timing wasn't it, that article."

With the World Cup campaign all but over, Jones concedes the Wallabies lack the necessary mongrel to match it with the world's best. He confides to Slipper: "We've got no hardness about us. There's none of that in Australian rugby now. We're not used to playing tough. It stands out like dogs' balls. It's set up for failure, mate."

All three episodes of the Stan Original Documentary Series 'The Wallabies - Inside Rugby World Cup 2023' premiere February 22 on Stan.

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