Sonny Bill Williams has taken aim at Eddie Jones for his disastrous tenure as Wallabies coach claiming his time at the helm was 'comical'. Jones left as head coach of the Wallabies less than one year into a five-year deal with Rugby Australia.
The deal was supposed to see him take Australia through to the 2027 World Cup on home soil. However, his decision to leave came came after a historically poor World Cup campaign in France where the Wallabies failed to make it out of the group stages for the first time ever - following losses to Fiji and Wales.
Jones initially caught the ire of Wallabies fans when he opted not to take Michael Hooper or Quade Cooper to the World Cup. After a disastrous loss to Fiji, Williams joined in on the chorus and blasted Jones for his decisions.
This also came as reports alleged Jones held a meeting with Japan Rugby right before the World Cup. Jones was furious with the media for questioning his commitment to his job. "I take umbrage to people questioning my commitment to the Australia job," Jones said at the time.
“My coaching hasn’t been good enough. I don’t need to worry about the future; just the Portuguese game. I have a contract, and at the end of the World Cup my performance will be reviewed, and at the minute it’s not good enough."
However, Jones has since left his role after a bizarre press conference where he claimed he was committed. And Williams has spoken to The Sydney Morning Herald and called out Jones for his behaviour.
“It says a lot about his character to be honest. It’s comical. I still can’t believe it," he told the publication. "I saw straight through his antics and his big-talking."
Eddie Jones' comments on Michael Hooper sparks anger
One of Williams' biggest gripes was how Jones handled the decision to leave out Hooper, Cooper and Bernard Foley. On his way out, Jones claimed he didn't pick Hooper because he wasn't the right role model for the team at the time.
This angered the All Blacks great who blasted Jones for not just leaving with 'dignity'. “I found those comments disgusting,” Williams added. “I was really upset for those lads. The sad thing was that he couldn’t just leave with dignity. He had to leave with some firing shots by calling Hooper, Foley and Quade not role model material? What does that make him?"
Rugby Australia has since ousted chair Hamish McLennan after the Eddie Jones fiasco. Williams backed boss Phil Waugh to make some changes at the top of Rugby Australia leading into the next World Cup.
During the tournament after Australia lost to Fiji, Williams took aim at Jones for leaving Hooper at home. "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," he said.
"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."
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