Wallabies: Ex-captain Stephen Moore slams Eddie Jones’ appointment and state of the game in Australia

David Skippers
Stephen Moore Wallabies 2017 - PA.jpg

Legendary Wallabies hooker and captain Stephen Moore has hit out at the state of the game in Australia and the recent appointment of Eddie Jones as the two-time world champions’ new head coach.

Moore, who played in 129 Tests between 2005 and 2017, is disenchanted with the game in Australia and expressed concerns with the decision to fire Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie and replace him with Jones less than nine months out from the start of the Rugby World Cup in France.

Not the only one who is concerned

The 40-year-old did not hold back in his criticism of the state of the Australian game and said he was not the only one who feels this way.

“It’s disappointing. I’m really disillusioned with the game, which is a shame, and a lot of my mates who l played rugby with are in the same boat,” Moore told the Daily Mail.

He was particularly concerned with the appointment of Jones, who had a stint as Wallabies coach between 2001 and 2005 and who was recently fired as England’s head coach after a seven-year stint in charge of the Red Rose.

Moore described Jones’ recruitment as “panicked” and also pointed out that few people seemed interested in coaching the Wallabies.

“(Hiring Jones) is almost a panicked decision because Eddie got sacked by England and they had to move quickly,” he said.

“We haven’t grown our own coaches like we should’ve and now it’s biting us. Whenever the Wallabies job comes up, we’re scratching our heads about who could fill that role.”

Moore also raised concerns about Australia’s lack of leadership in players at Super Rugby level and criticised Rugby Australia (RA) for not doing well in producing more leaders. Australia’s most recent Test captains – Michael Hooper and James Slipper – are in the twilight of their careers and appear to be the only captaincy options for the Wallabies at the moment.

What many former Wallabies and rugby supporters find alarming is the standard of the game at junior and grassroots level in Australia. Moore hit out at RA for their desire to focus mostly on the Wallabies while less attention was given to the women’s game, junior rugby and other levels of the game.

Lacking long-term vision

“We seem to be taking a very short-term view on the success of the Wallabies and the game more generally,’ he said.

“We don’t have a long-term vision for the game, and it’s a big problem because we continue to regress over time… we’re floundering at every level.”

READ MORE: Wallabies: Front-row Allan Alaalatoa admits Dave Rennie sacking ‘shocked’ him