Eddie Jones: Wallabies want to be ‘number one’ in the world

Dylan Coetzee

England head coach Eddie Jones arrives before the Autumn International match at Twickenham Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday November 26, 2022.

Eddie Jones underlined that the goal for the Wallabies is to be the best team in the world ahead of his first Test season since returning to the helm of his home country.

The veteran coach was brought back into the Wallabies set-up earlier this year at the expense of Dave Rennie.

Jones has already held his first Wallabies camp in April and is ramping up preparations for their Test against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld on July 8.

Targeting a return to the top

Speaking at Melbourne Cricket Ground where Rugby Championship ticket sales were launched, the tactician unpacked the team’s goal to return to the top of the world.

“We’re seven and so we’ve got work to do to get to number one, because we want to be number one,” Jones told reporters.

“We understand what the gap is and that it’ll take the coaching staff and the players to work hard and to work smart to fill the gap.

“And we saw South Africa in 2018, 2017. They were winning games at less than 40%.

“And they went on to win the World Cup in 2019. So in a short period of time, you could change the team remarkably, you could change an individual remarkably … And that’s the job.”

Jones has been in discussion with Rugby Australia over the relaxation of Giteau’s Law, which currently only allows him to select three overseas-based players.

“It’s moving in a positive direction,” he said.

“We’ve got to make a selection for the first Rugby Championship and that’s obviously the first test.”

Positive updates

Fly-half Quade Cooper is likely to be one of the overseas players at the Rugby World Cup, with reports suggesting he will be Jones’ first-choice playmaker despite being sidelined for an extended period with a ruptured Achilles.

Cooper did make a return recently, but only for one minute as the Kinetsu Liners needed to field the star at least once during the regular season for him to be eligible for the knockout phase.

Jones also provided an update on the robust running Samu Kerevi, who could also play a key role in the Wallabies’ revival.

“He ran on well and ran off well, so that’s a start,” Jones remarked.

“I went and saw him last week out at Kintetsu … He’s due to play in a couple of weeks.

“He’s progressing really nicely, Kerevi’s progressing really nicely.

“We’ve got a number of players coming back so it’s really promising.”

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