Jones: ‘Super Rugby puts me to sleep’

Date published: April 16 2016

Super Rugby's expansion has divided opinion this year, but there's no doubt on which side of the fence Eddie Jones is sitting.

The England head coach previously worked with the Brumbies and Reds in the competition, but now believes that by adding three more teams this year that Super Rugby has lost its edge.

Jones went as far to suggest that two sides "don't even know what their name is" as he bemoaned the drop in standards across the competition.

"I watch most of the [Super Rugby] games but some of the games put me to sleep," Jones told Fairfax Media.

"I don't think the standard's great this year. Having 18 teams in the competition, it's really dropped the standards. We used to have three teams of which two used to be very competitive and one might struggle a little bit.

"Now you've got one team that's good, two teams that are struggling and two teams that don't even know what their name is."

Jones also responded to recent comments made by Waratahs head coach Daryl Gibson which suggested that Jones had set back Australian rugby by limiting the attacking instincts of young players coming through the system, saying last week to AAP: "The difficulty for us is, I think, the Eddie Jones era of playing A, B, C-certain type of rugby.

"That lack of decision making has had an effect on Australian rugby in the fact that it's very pervasive in the schooling system."

Now, Jones has hit back: "So we get some guy coming in on the coat-tail of Cheik and then tries to change his team and play like a Kiwi side and then blame a coach from 10 years ago? That is pretty red hot.

"The surprising thing for me is he's criticising what happened in Australia 10 years ago and he's trying to get the Waratahs to play like a Kiwi side. We've seen it with Robbie Deans; we don't want Australian sides to play like New Zealand sides. That's the great thing Cheik's done with the Wallabies – he's got them playing like an Australian team, not copying a Kiwi side.

"I was never a development coach. I coached the Brumbies, I coached the Wallabies and I coached the Reds. I never went around preaching and telling coaches how to coach. I don't think a national coach ever has. That's a job for a technical director.

"He [Gibson] doesn't even know the difference between a national coach and a technical director."