Sonny Bill Williams demands answers from Eddie Jones and Rugby Australia

Colin Newboult

Eddie Jones ahead of Australia's defeat to Wales in the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Cross-code legend Sonny Bill Williams has once again hit out at Eddie Jones and demanded some clarity from the Wallabies head coach.

Rugby Australia (RA) are also in Williams’ firing line after the country suffered defeats to Wales and Fiji in a disastrous pool stage.

Should the Pacific Islanders pick up a point against Portugal in their final group match, they will go through at the expense of the Wallabies.

They will therefore likely fail to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, which has ramped up the pressure on Jones.

The 63-year-old also allegedly spoke to Japanese officials in a Zoom interview ahead of the global tournament, with a view to taking over the Brave Blossoms, something which has irked the former All Black.

Williams, who now lives in Sydney and has even offered his services to the governing body, wants both Jones and Rugby Australia to come clean about what has gone on.

Talented squad

“I look at it like a glass half full always, but I look at it as what could have been,” he said on Stan Sport.

“These guys, if this is their last game – to me, they should be in the quarter-finals with the squad that they have.

“Rightly so, questions need to be asked if they don’t make it to the quarters from an infrastructure view all the way down to a coaching point of view.

“If he wants to stay, we need to know, Bro, did you go and have that meeting? Did you have one foot out and one foot in?’ The players, the fans – not me at all – deserve that at least.”

Australia legend Tim Horan, who won the World Cup twice in the 1990s, agreed with Williams and questioned Jones’ commitment.

RA chief executive Phil Waugh came out in support of the 63-year-old after the Japan story broke, and has stood by those words since, but Horan is still not convinced.

Making assurances

“I think the big call now after this Rugby World Cup, and we’re not going to know for another seven days or so, is with Eddie Jones. Does Eddie Jones actually really want to coach the Wallabies? He’s got to put his hand up,” he said.

“It won’t happen this week because they’re still in the World Cup – but in seven or eight days’ time or maybe a little bit longer, he’s got to reach out and say to Rugby Australia ‘Yes, I want to be part of this team. Yes, I want to take this young group of players through to the next two or four years’.

“You look at what happened in 2015 when England got bundled out in their home World Cup, and then Eddie Jones takes over that team and gets them through to a Rugby World Cup final four years later.

“Eddie Jones has got to put his hand up. The reviews will come for the Rugby World Cup, but the reviews will come for rugby in Australia as well.”

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