Eddie Jones gets into Springboks gear

Spiro Zavos Columnist

By Spiro Zavos, Spiro Zavos is a Roar Expert

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    Is there something wrong with Eddie Jones getting into Springboks gear and helping out in coaching the side in its pre-World Cup training session?I reckon there is. Jones has been paid big money to coach Australia and Queensland. He has picked up a great deal of intellectual rugby property from the Australian system. He should not be passing this on to a side that could well be facing the Wallabies some time in the World Cup tournament.

    There is a precedent for what Jones has been doing, of course, with Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, the current head coach and forwards coach of the All Blacks, coaching Wales before they got their NZ gigs. But Henry and Hansen were hardly bringing back any intellectual rugby property from Wales. They were delivering intellectual property to Welsh rugby from the NZ system.

    It doesn’t seem right for Eddie Jones to be so supportive and helpful to the Springboks. There seems to be an element of payback in all of this. A former Wallaby coach should not be making it harder for the Australia to win the 2007 World Cup than it already will be.

    Thanks to Temba for this photo of Eddie in the ‘Boks gear:

    Eddie Jones gets into Springboks gear

    Spiro Zavos
    Spiro Zavos

    Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.

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    The Crowd Says (73)

    • July 29th 2007 @ 12:09pm
      Craig L said | July 29th 2007 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

      Would be different if Eddie had a success recipe. The Reds did not exactly set the Super 14 contest alight from his innovative coaching and the Wallabies were not exactly constant winners under his coaching. Hopefully his great record helps pull the Boks back a notch, go you good thing!!

    • July 29th 2007 @ 1:01pm
      Chris Beck said | July 29th 2007 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

      In the US we have a saying that one could apply here: “It’s a free country.” Which is fine, if one considers this situation in a vacuum. But it sure doesn’t feel like something the previous coach should be doing.

      I’m trying to picture Bobby Knight (famous American college basketball coach) hanging out with the Russians or the Brazilians or somebody else after coaching the US team in the Olympics. It would never happen in a million years.

      It seems pretty clear that Eddie Jones’s loyalties lie squarely with Eddie Jones.

    • Columnist

      July 29th 2007 @ 1:23pm
      Spiro Zavos said | July 29th 2007 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

      I agree with this. Particularly with the major national rugby sides, coaches with intellectual property from a national side should not take this property to a challenging side. Eddie Jones is saying that he has been out of the Wallabies for a year or so but he still has a good idea of many of the plays and strategies (he devised some of them!) that the Wallabies will want to use in France.
      As Chris suggests this is an example of a coach putting his loyalty to his former team well behind his loyalty to his own wounded feelings.
      I noticed in Danny Weidler’s sports gossip column in the Sun-Herald a snide reference to John O’Neill making a fool of himself in rugby circles with his attack on Eddie Jones. I think some disinformation from the ubiquitous managers is going on here. All my contacts in rugby felt that O’Neill was spot on in his criticism.

    • July 29th 2007 @ 2:19pm
      Craig L said | July 29th 2007 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

      Eddie’s obviously doing his best to burn bridges with Australian rugby and you’d have to say he must never want to work in Rugby in this country again, who would ever trust him? O’Neill is just making sure everyone in Rugby understands that Eddie is on a one way street. His underlying theme is also that loyalty is everything and he’s going to demand it of everyone associated with the game in Australia.
      Danny Weidler is just anti Rugby and obviously has a very big barrow to push in terms of Channel 9’s involvement in league and the need to put Rugby down at every opportunity.

    • July 29th 2007 @ 2:23pm
      dickson said | July 29th 2007 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

      In my opinion i feel it’s bad form on the part of eddie jones to be involved with the Boks so close to exiting as both a national coach and as coach of the Reds. Some might say its no different from moving from one province to the next and taking any ‘intellectual info’ you might have gained with you and using it against your former province. But to me the difference here is that Jones has no future commitment to any form of South African rugby. From the outside looking in he appears to be doing this just to improve the SA chances in a tournament his former charges are involved in. To me thats not on.

    • July 29th 2007 @ 2:54pm
      Chris Beck said | July 29th 2007 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

      Even if Connolly changed the playbook, a good many of the players that played for Jones at the Wallabies are still with the Wallabies. So at a minimum he knows some of the tendencies of the players.

      And although he’s been out of the Wallaby job for a year or so, he did just spend the past year in charge of the Reds, a few of whom managed to make the Walalby squad.

      Which brings up another point. To the extent that Connolly was able to convince the Australian Super 14 teams to do things that were in the direction of what he was planning for the World Cup, that’s another chunk of intellectual property Jones is carrying around inside his head. If that’s even slightly the case, Wallaby fans must certainly hope that the Reds record last year doesn’t reflect either (a) the soundness of Connolly’s plan or (b) the degree to which the plan can be successfully implimented.