The hits keep coming for the besieged Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup, with Eddie Jones' side falling to their lowest world ranking ever. Following their record 40-6 thrashing at the hands of Wales, which has destroyed their hopes of advancing to the quarter-finals, the Wallabies have sunk to 10th spot in the World Rugby rankings.
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.
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Their loss to Wales sent them down one place to 10th, with Argentina now higher on the rankings than Australia. The Pumas are coached by former Wallabies boss Michael Cheika, who was in charge of Australia at the last World Cup in 2019. Cheika quit his post immediately after the Wallabies suffered a 40-16 thrashing in the quarter-finals against England - ironically coached by Jones at the time.
Argentina picked up 1.72 rankings points after their 19-10 win over Samoa, and Australia lost two-and-a-half points in their heavy defeat to Wales. The teams have swapped rankings as a result, with the Wallabies in 10th spot for the first time since the rankings were introduced.
Ireland have increased their standing as the World No.1 team on the back of their big win over South Africa. France have subsequently overtaken the Springboks in second spot. Unlike other sports that update the rankings after a World Cup is completed, the rugby standings change after every match.
— Burna P (@pgbyrne74) September 26, 2023
Both Hamish & Eddie's positions are untenable now. You can't exit at the pool stage and be rewarded by keeping your jobs. Plus Wallabies are now 10th in rankings? Both need to go and do it the honourable way ie, resign.
— Lani Refiti (@LaniRefiti) September 26, 2023
And you can chuck in the denouement for @wallabies, following the crushing defeat to @welshrugbyunion in #RWC2023, of dropping to 10th in World Rankings for the first time ever.#WALvAUS pic.twitter.com/jY3bnqSv1L
— Leighton Price (@leighton_price) September 25, 2023
Eddie Jones adamant he is right man for Wallabies
Despite the Wallabies' disastrous campaign in France, Jones says he has no plans to walk away from the coaching job. He has four years remaining on his contract - which runs through to the next World Cup in Australia in 2027 - although he has been linked to the vacant Japan coaching job in recent days.
"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."
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has since confirmed speculation that Jones has been in contact with Japanese rugby, but said the 63-year-old turned down a job offer put to him. A report out of Japan suggested Jones may been assisting with the coaching recruitment process, given his close relationship with Japan Rugby Football Union President Masato Tsuchida.
Jones currently holds a role as Tokyo Sungoliath's consulting director of rugby, and has had a working relationship with the club since 1997. Masato is a former player and head coach at the club.
Jones has denied reports he was interviewed to take over as Japan's coach just days before the World Cup, while the JRFU have refused to comment, saying they have a policy not to disclose any information about candidates. Rugby Australia chief executive Phil Waugh said he trusted Jones' word that he had not been interviewed, while Wallabies captain Will Skelton took the same view and said Jones is the right man to continue leading Australia.
The Wallabies will be back in action on Monday morning (Aussie time) for their final pool game against World No.16 Portugal. Their tournament could be over as early as Sunday morning if Fiji beat Georgia. The only way the Wallabies can still advance to the quarters is if Fiji lose to both Georgia and Portugal, and don't get any bonus points in either game.
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