‘No stone is left unturned’ in the Wallabies’ pursuit of Rugby World Cup glory

Dylan Coetzee
Wallabies huddle during a Test match

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones and his team leaders are doing everything they can to prepare their side for a “smash and grab” job at the Rugby World Cup in France.

It will be some task considering Jones has not even taken charge of a Test match yet after replacing Dave Rennie at the helm in January.

However, if anyone can put together a good team quickly it is Jones, owing to his years of experience in the international arena.

Weekly meetings

Front-row Allan Alaalatoa revealed that Jones has been getting the team leaders together weekly to build the side from within.

“The leaders are getting together once a week with Eddie to talk about our learnings throughout Super Rugby but also about gameplay,” Alaalatoa told AAP.

“We’re continuing to get together once a week collaborating on ideas, what we’re feeling, what we’re seeing and what we’re learning.

“There’s no time to waste and as leaders, we’re trying to make the most of every opportunity when we’re not together as a team.

“We’ve got a lot of fathers in the crew, so they’re later in the night when the kids are asleep.

“It’s not something we’ve done in the past, so it’s good to keep in touch and understand what Eddie’s thinking because he’s a wise man, he gets the game.”

Changing the mentality

Experienced scrum-half Nic White is one of the leaders in the group and he insists that everything possible, including the use of psychologists in their camp, is being done to transform the mentality of the Wallabies team culture.

“No stone is left unturned. It’s going to take all leaders and even guys outside of that group,” White said.

“No one person is going to be able to go over there and have made that much of a difference, (we’re) going to have a certain mentality around leading and everyone knowing their strengths and weaknesses.

“There’s a pretty cool feeling around Australian rugby at the moment.”

Sense of belief

Jones held a camp earlier this year and White admitted the excitement was tangible after their time together on the Gold Coast.

“From that camp, everyone came out going ‘gee whiz, make sure you’re part of it’,” the scrum-half said.

“There’s a real what we’re calling a ‘smash and grab’ opportunity there.”

Alaalatoa echoed his teammate’s sentiments and claimed the players left the camp with belief.

“When the boys left the camp, there was a lot of belief we can win the World Cup,” he added.

“How [Eddie] speaks and how he presents himself in front of the boys in the meetings, he’s constantly ingraining that in the players’ minds.”

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