Australia: Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones labels Eddie Jones a ‘savage’ and likens him to psychopaths

Jared Wright
Former Wallabies boss Alan Jones has slammed Rugby Australia for appointing Eddie Jones as the Wallabies head coach in a scathing column.

Former Wallabies boss Alan Jones has slammed Rugby Australia for appointing Eddie Jones as the country’s head coach in a scathing column.

Alan Jones coached the Wallabies between 1984 and 1987 before taking charge of rugby league side Balmain Tigers, and worked in broadcasting in Australia.

No due diligence

In his column for the Express, Jones slammed Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan for doing no due diligence before firing Dave Rennie and hiring Eddie Jones.

“Clearly, no due diligence was done on a person, previously sacked by Rugby Australia,” Jones wrote. 

“The lack of process must raise questions about the whole Rugby Australia Board.”

Jones added that McLennan’s rugby knowledge is limited before he turned his attention to the new Wallabies boss.

“The last time he coached an Australian team he was sacked, in 2005, after seven straight losses,” he wrote

“At that time, the leading Wallabies complained that he was too prescriptive and had killed their spontaneity. 

“It is also widely known, inside the game, that he had pushed his assistant coach, Ewan McKenzie, so hard, that McKenzie ended up in a mental health ward during the 2003 World Cup campaign.”

‘I can’t tolerate people.’

The former Wallabies coach’s most considerable criticism of Jones was his perceived lack of remorse, likening him to a person with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

“He clearly displays character traits that psychologists would align with someone living with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD),” Jones wrote.

“People with this condition are also commonly referred to as “sociopaths” or ‘psychopaths’. 

“People with ASPD are controlling, aggressive and show no guilt or remorse for their destructive behaviour.

“In a nutshell, people with sociopathy may have little empathy and a habit of rationalising their actions but they know the difference between right and wrong.  

“Psychopaths have no sense of morality or empathy. 

“People with ASPD, both sociopaths and psychopaths, find it challenging to maintain friendships and working relationships. 

“Hence the quote by Eddie Jones, ‘I can’t tolerate people.’

“Does this auger well for Australian rugby?

“If the coach displays traits like low empathy, low emotional intelligence, a lack of concern for the wellbeing of others, a tendency to intimidate and threaten in order to maintain control, a difficulty in learning from mistakes – is Eddie Jones your ideal coach in 2023?”

Eddie Jones hasn’t changed

The 81-year-old claimed that Eddie Jones hadn’t changed since his first tenure in charge of the Wallabies, using quotes from Dylan Hartley to emphasise his point. 

He added that it was right for Jones to demand dedication, discipline and control but believes that ‘you don’t have to be a savage to be a winning coach.’

“Rugby Australia has a duty of care to the players and back room staff,” Alan Jones wrote.

“It is obvious that I don’t believe RA have made the right decision and I question the competence of Hamish McLennan to run our game.”

He continued writing that he takes exception to how Jones treats people and that he only gets away with it because he has won enough games.

“Eddie Jones can’t be blamed for escaping scrutiny and being rewarded with an unadvertised job which once was regarded as the best coaching trophy in the rugby world; but history would suggest this will end at great financial cost to Australia; but what will be the cost to rugby which, in Australia, is already at its lowest ebb ever,” he added.

“We all would want Eddie Jones to succeed, but history suggests the casualties, along the way, will outweigh the triumphs.”

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