Former All Black Sonny Bill Williams has slammed Eddie Jones for his behaviour during a disastrous Rugby World Cup campaign with the Wallabies.
It was a World Cup to forget for Jones who made bold decisions with his squad selection, taking a very young side to France and leaving behind vast experience in Michael Hooper, Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley.
The meeting with Japan
To make matters worse, reports of a meeting between Jones and the Japan Rugby Football Union surfaced with rumours of the veteran taking over the Brave Blossoms job in 2024.
“Obviously, he had that meeting,” Williams told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“It says a lot about his character, to be honest. It’s comical. I still can’t believe it.
“I saw straight through his antics and his big-talking. This is a bloke who has a track record of burning bridges.
“The things that he’s done … if he was a player, you wouldn’t stand for it. It’s quite nice that they are being held accountable, just like players are.”
Williams also disagreed with Jones’ comments about Hooper, Cooper and Foley, where the 63-year-old claimed the trio were not the right role models for the team.
“I found those comments disgusting,” Williams said.
“I was really upset for those lads. The sad thing was that he couldn’t just leave with dignity. He had to leave with some firing shots by calling Hooper, Foley and Quade not role model material? What does that make him?
“I see this as the reset Australian rugby needs. Phil Waugh is talking about some really good things, especially strategies into Western Sydney. As rugby fans we all want to believe in something.
“Transparency is key. With the talent Australia has, something special could happen. I love the idea of bringing everything under the one umbrella from Rugby Australia. The only way is up.”
Change at the top
There has been further change in the Rugby Australia set-up, with Hamish McLennan being voted out of the role of chairman with Daniel Herbert taking over.
“I commend the board on making the decision and not fussing around,” Williams said.
“I called it before the World Cup with Eddie … that it wasn’t the right thing and it backfired tremendously. Egos need to be left at the door. The public deserves better, and so do these players.
“A lot of people forgot about Dave Rennie’s leadership. Australia beat South Africa twice and came close to New Zealand.”