Rugby journalist hits back at Eddie Jones after 'deranged' and 'unhinged' behaviour

Channel 7 reporter Andrew McKinlay slammed Eddie Jones' "deranged" behaviour before the World Cup in France.

Eddie Jones.
Eddie Jones has been called out for his behaviour at Sydney airport before the Rugby World Cup last year. Image: Getty

An experienced member of the media pack attacked by Eddie Jones at Sydney Airport has defended reporters' behaviour after the former Wallabies coach labelled a section of them "idiots parading as journalists". Channel 7 reporter Andrew McKinlay has watched and attended thousands of press conferences during his 40 years in the media and was stunned at Jones' "deranged" behaviour as the Wallabies were departing for the World Cup in France.

Jones told journalists to "give yourselves an uppercut" after going on a bizarre rant about the lack of belief and support for his squad after he controversially omitted several senior players. Australia bowed out of the World Cup at the pool stage for the first time in the tournament's history.

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In the Stan documentary 'The Wallabies – Inside Rugby World Cup 2023', Jones doubled down on his criticism of the media. "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 second coming as Wallabies boss.

"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. I thought it was completely out of context and completely inappropriate."

Channel 7 reporter Andrew McKinlay slammed Eddie Jones for his
Channel 7 reporter Andrew McKinlay slammed Eddie Jones for his "deranged" behaviour before the World Cup in France. Image: Andrew McKinlay's Linkedin

But viewed from the other side of the camera, McKinlay told Yahoo Sport Australia: "No one was out of order. Player selection got his hackles up and triggered the rant and it became Eddie versus the media pack. "Negative and negativity were his buzzwords. I tried to put a put a positive spin on it by mentioning the Matildas – who were in their pomp - and using them as inspiration, but by that stage he was just blinkered.

"The deranged and unhinged rambling got worse. From there I knew it wouldn't be a successful World Cup."

Asked where it rated in terms of bizarre press conferences, McKinlay replied: "It's on the podium. "It's up there with Darius Boyd's at the Dragons when he went all quiet and gave one-word answers or Eric Cantona's 'when the seagulls follow the trawlers' presser.

"He (Jones) was just repeating the words 'negative' and 'negativity'. He was determined to dish out verbal blows. It was hard to get a word in."

Michael Hooper lifts the lid on his surprise omission from World Cup squad

Former skipper Michael Hooper was one of the senior players surprisingly left out of the World Cup. In the Stan documentary, he takes viewers through the painful selection announcement.

"We'd train in the mornings and I got home and it was midday," he said. "You get to 3pm and you start to hear that other people are getting the calls (that they're in the squad).

"And then it gets to 6pm and you really want to know. I made a call to the manager of the team and he informed me at that time that it was probably going to be a non-selection. I was disappointed by (that) and then the call from Eddie came through later. What more can you do? It's a call that's made. It's sport."

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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