Former Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore admits he did not anticipate Eddie Jones’ second stint with the side to go the way it has.
Jones has only claimed one win from eight matches since returning as Wallabies boss at the beginning of the year. It is not only his poor win rate that is concerning, with some of his decisions backfiring thus far.
The veteran coach left the most capped Wallabies captain, Michael Hooper, at home alongside experienced fly-half Quade Cooper, who was shoved aside to fast-track the development of Carter Gordon, who has recently fallen down the pecking order.
Adding to some of the confusing selection decisions are reports that suggest Jones met online with the Japan Rugby Football Union over the possibility of returning after the Rugby World Cup. Jones has since denied the claim.
Moore, who led Australia to a World Cup final in 2015, says the coach’s return has gone differently from what he thought and that he is different to the man he worked with during his career.
“I was excited when Eddie came in as he’s been a good coach for a long time, but I didn’t expect it to go this poorly,” Moore told AAP.
“Certainly some of the decisions that have been made and some of the behaviour has been a little bit alarming and very different to the type of Eddie that I would have worked with very early in my career and that’s been really disappointing.”
Moore believes that if the rumours of Jones meeting with Japan are true there is no way the relationship could continue with Rugby Australia.
“If that’s accurate, I just can’t see how we can continue with that,” Moore said.
“Japan are looking for a coach and they’re in the process of recruiting a coach so Eddie is either going for it or he’s not.
“Whatever his involvement is, we need to hear that and if it’s accurate that he’s been engaging with Japan… I can’t see how he can continue to coach Australia.
“As a player, I would find that very difficult.”
The former hooker believes the issue extends through the way the game is governed in Australia – an area that needs big changes according to Moore.
“For some time there’s been lack of a strategy or a long-term vision for the game at every different level; at the Wallabies, at the grassroots, club rugby, Super Rugby, the third tier, I can’t put my finger on any type of direction we have for that stuff,” he said.
“We need to build a governance model, a high-performance model, a grassroots system that is going to be the best in the world – that’s what we should be aiming for and at the moment, we’re kidding ourselves if we think what we’re doing is going to get us there.”