Australia stalwart says several Wallabies are still angry with Eddie Jones

David Skippers
Allan Alaalatoa and Eddie Jones Wallabies 2023 - Alamy.jpg

Wallabies front-row Allan Alaalatoa and the team's former head coach, Eddie Jones.

Wallabies front-row Allan Alaalatoa has revealed that several of the team’s players are still angry with the team’s former head coach Eddie Jones for abandoning the side after their disastrous 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones resigned from his position shortly after the completion of global showpiece in France after Australia failed to advance to the World Cup’s play-offs for the first time in the famous tournament’s history.

Alaalatoa was one of six players – along with Michael Hooper, James Slipper, Tate McDermott, Will Skelton and Dave Porecki – to captain the Wallabies during their turbulent 2023 international campaign.

Short-lived stint as skipper

However, Alaalatoa’s stint in the leadership role was short-lived. He skippered the Wallabies in last year’s Bledisloe Cup Test in Melbourne but was forced off the field late in the first half of that match with a ruptured Achilles sustained at a collapsed scrum.

That injury meant Alaalatoa was ruled out of the World Cup but despite being sidelined, he still remained in contact with his fellow Wallaby players.

“There are some guys who are frustrated with how it all played out and how he went about things,” Alaalatoa told reporters at a promotional event for Stan’s behind the scenes documentary ‘The Wallabies – Inside Rugby World Cup 2023’.

“There is probably a bit of anger there as well. There are also boys who are grateful. He took a punt on a lot of young lads, who at the beginning of the year thought they were no chance of playing in the Wallabies. There is definitely a mixed range of emotions…

“The assumption was that it (links with Japan) was all just rumours and that nothing was happening and he was definitely going to stick this out with us, you know.”

Apart from chopping and changing his captains several times, Jones also caught most rugby enthusiasts by surprise when he omitted several experienced players – like Hooper, Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley – from his World Cup squad, opting instead for a youthful squad and an unstructured style of play which did not did not have the desired results.

“When you think about it all, when you reflect and review from the year… I think there probably was too much change and, as players, we probably couldn’t keep up,” Alaalatoa said.

“Probably we weren’t on the same page with the way we wanted to play, and it took us too many games to try and get an understanding of that. Just looking from the review point of view and from the outside, there was probably too much change in a short period of time… watching from home probably hurt me the most.”

One of the main characters of documentary

The 30-year-old is one of the main characters of Stan’s three part documentary, which premieres on Thursday and features unprecedented behind the scenes access to the team’s inner sanctum.

“It’s good that they (Stan) weren’t just with us in the World Cup, but they were with us throughout the whole build-up,” Alaalatoa said.

“It’s going to be exciting, to give the fans that perspective.

“I think a lot of people will want to watch the year and obviously see why it ended up the way that it did… I just wanted to give my authentic self. I thought that was good to show fans the other side of it – not just rugby players, but we have a life outside of footy and to experience what we have off the field is also special as well.

“I think that was great and I know it was documented in a great way from Stan.”

READ MORE:It’s set up for failure’ – Eddie Jones in stinging criticism of Australian rugby