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Frank O'Keeffe Roar Rookie

By Frank O'Keeffe, Frank O'Keeffe is a Roar Rookie

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    On 15 July this year, I was happy to hear the news that former Wallaby coach Alan Jones had accepted an invitation from Barbarian F.C. to coach the touring side to play the Wallabies on 28 October.

    This year marks the 30-year anniversary when Jones last coached the Wallabies.

    Jones’ contribution to Australian rugby has often been understated, perhaps because he is a controversial media personality.

    However, aside from R.J.P. Marks, I can’t think of a more appropriate candidate for the ARU Hall of Fame (which unfortunately does not include coaches).

    Jones’ reign as Wallaby coach brought unprecedented success to Australian rugby.

    In the 102 games that Jones coached, the Wallabies won 89.

    Of the 30 Tests that he coached, Australia won 21, drew 1, lost three to the All Blacks by one point, and lost another with 14-men after David Codey was sent off in the opening minutes of the World Cup third-place playoff against Wales.

    He was the coach of a side that is one of only five teams to have won a Test series in New Zealand – the 1986 Wallabies.

    The 1984 Grand Slam Wallabies still remain the only Australian side to have won every Test on the tour to the United Kingdom.

    Many of Jones’ accomplishments paved the way for future Wallaby success, and were replicated by other nations as well.

    Perhaps Jones firstly deserves praise for introducing the role of assistant coach, a relatively new innovation in the amateur era of rugby, by utilising Alec Evans and assigning him the role of forwards coach of the Wallabies.

    Assigning assistant coaches was a move to be replicated by future Australian coaches, such as the great Bob Dwyer. In Full Time: A Coach’s Memoir, Dwyer wrote that:

    Credit goes to Alan Jones for introducing the role of the assistant, a key factor for improving the Wallabies. He roped in Alec Evans as his assistant and forwards coach for the ’84 Grand Slam tour and it was such a success that I had no hesitation in replicating the move when I was returned as national coach in 1988.

    Jones had met Evans while they were both employed at Brisbane Grammar, and Evans was to become not only an amazing asset for Australian rugby for the duration of Jones’ coaching reign, but for many more years to come, which include his role as part of the victorious 1999 World Cup Wallabies.

    However, the effort Jones made to construct infrastructure in Australian rugby is more extensive than this.

    Upon his appointment as Australian coach, Jones introduced a national training squad of 50 to 60 players. This was an extraordinarily large number of players. However, Jones hoped that by giving fringe players a taste of the national squad, it would help lift the standard of the NSW and Queensland teams.

    Jones’ first point of order was to find a tight five capable of winning and securing quality ball. This may sound ridiculous, but this was no mere feat for Australian rugby. The 1981-82 Wallabies to tour the United Kingdom were consistently exposed in the scrums and line-outs.

    Jones earmarked Andy MacIntyre as a suitable tight-head prop for Australia. MacIntyre had made his debut for the Wallabies in 1982. And despite playing both Tests in France in 1983, MacIntyre spent most of 1983 absent from the starting Wallaby side, and even on the bench for Queensland.

    Hooker Tom Lawton Jr was yet to play a game for Queensland before the Wallabies won their triumphant Grand Slam in 1984. Deemed too big to play the hooker position, today if you ask Sean Fitzpatrick who his toughest opponent was, he will say Lawton Jr

    And while any coach in world rugby would be intelligent enough to select Topo Rodriguez after his immigration to Australia, Jones made every effort to help Rodriguez once his residency was certified.

    However, no selection defined the coaching reign of Alan Jones than that of Steve Cutler.

    Following Australia’s 1983 tour to Italy and France, Cutler was told that he would never play for Australia again.

    He was the first player Jones selected!

    “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is,” former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson once said. “Treat a man as what he could be or should be and he will become what he could be or should be.”

    Jones treated Cutler like the best line-out exponent in the world, and that’s what he became.

    If you ask Cutler what his best performance in a Wallaby jersey is, he’ll tell you the first Test against New Zealand in 1984.

    On a day when both Mark Ella and David Campese kicked poorly at the goals, Australia defeated New Zealand in the line-outs 25-16, with Cutler obtaining most of this possession.

    It was Jones who led the Manly rugby club (a club historically resistant to outsiders) to their first club premiership in 33 years in 1983. Not only that, but Manly’s victory broke Randwick’s steak of five successive premierships from 1978-1982.

    Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Jones’ coaching reign, is that with in-form Manly players such as Phillip Cox, Ross Reynolds, Bill Calcraft and Peter FitzSimons, perhaps Jones could have been excused for selecting players he already felt comfortable with.

    When Steve Williams was accorded the vice-captaincy of the Wallabies for the Grand Slam tour, some felt the Wallabies might gain an influx of Manly players.

    Instead, Jones’ resisted the strong push from Queensland to include Tony Parker in the squad for the 1984 tour of the United Kingdom, and selected Nick Farr-Jones – a player who had been playing second division for Sydney University.

    “The first time I met him was when we went into camp before we left [for the UK tour],” Mark Ella wrote in Ella: The Definitive Biography. “I didn’t know who the hell he was.” (p 251)

    Little did anybody know that Jones had selected probably one of Australia’s ten greatest rugby players.

    Ross Reynolds was another player the fall under the Jones’ selection knife. In his place was selected arguably Australia’s most dynamic eightman, Steve Tuynman.

    Then there were cut-throat decisions, none more so than the decision to select David Codey for the 1984 Grand Slam tour. Firstly, this selection meant that Peter Lucas would be omitted from the touring side – a shock to a great many people given his form.

    Secondly, it became obvious that if Jones wanted Codey for height, so he could have a fourth line-out jumper, either Simon Poidevin or vice-captain Chris Roche would have to be dropped.

    The dropping of an incredible player, Chris Roche, came as a shock to many, but cruelly it did have the effect of heightening and bulking the Australian forward pack.

    (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

    Then there was the issue of goal-kicking. Jones had recognised that the 1984 Bledisloe Cup would be decided on penalties, given the way the first two Tests had played out.

    Prior to the third and deciding Bledisloe Cup Test of 1984, Jones earmarked Michael Lynagh for the fullback position. Unfortunately, Lynagh declined the invitation, unwilling to play in a position he’d never played before in the deciding Test of a Bledisloe Cup Series.

    Australia lost that Test to New Zealand 24-25.

    One cruel statistic reveals why I regard that loss as arguably the most painful in Australian rugby history.

    There were 26 penalties in the Test. 19 were awarded to Australia. Seven were awarded to New Zealand – all in Australian territory. Robbie Deans kicked six penalties from seven attempts. Roger Gould had an off-day with the boot at fullback!

    However, Jones was sure to find a place for Michael Lynagh on the Grand Slam tour at inside centre. Again, this involved the dropping of an in-form player, the wonderful Michael Hawker.

    Another forgotten Jones contribution was the addition of the Rhino Powerhouse scrum machine that accompanied the Wallabies throughout the 1984 Grand Slam tour.

    Jones was godfather to the son of Tim Francis, who then presided at Dulwich College in the United Kingdom. Francis alerted Jones to the machine provided by Phil Keith Roach, an Englishman who was unable to sell any of his scrum machines.

    Jones decided to trial the scrum machine, paid for it to be carted throughout the United Kingdom (out of his own pocket), and it yielded unprecedented success for the Wallabies, most notably when they scored a pushover try against Wales at Cardiff Arms Park.

    Nick Farr Jones passes to Simon Poidevin

    vin. (Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

    Jones decided to replicate this move for the Wallabies next overseas tour, the 1986 tour to New Zealand, and again paid for this scrum machine to be transported to every town the Wallabies played at in New Zealand (again, from his own pocket).

    And what was the biggest contributing factor to the Wallabies incredible Grand Slam success in 1984? Jones’ self-styled Green Machine – Australia’s midweek team.

    No Australian Test player could feel safe – Topo Rodriguez was challenged by Stan Pilecki and Cameron Lillicrap, Poidevin was challenged by Roche, Farr-Jones by Cox, Lynagh by Hawker, etc.

    The depth of Australian rugby was incredible, but Jones deserves credit for creating internal tension within the Wallaby camp – something missing in 1981-82.

    Australia was scheduled to play Ireland one week following their Test against England in 1984.

    Faced with no choice, Jones selected a team of second-stringers – the Green Machine – to take on the strong provincial side Midlands that featured Peter Wheeler and goal-kicking fullback Dusty Hare.

    The Green Machine triumphed 21-18.

    Then there was the match against Pontypool, after Australia had defeated Scotland to win the Grand Slam and prior to the Barbarians game, featuring nothing less than the best team Europe could select.

    Jones selected only five players from the starting team for the Green Machine. They emerged victorious 24-18.

    There were other triumphs beyond the incredible Grand Slam success.

    One week before Australia was scheduled to play France in 1986, the French side demolished Queensland 48-9.

    This was a truly great backline, featuring the likes of Berbizier, Camberabero, Charvet, Sella, Lagisquet and Blanco.

    The Wallabies provided what Andrew Slack regarded as Australia’s greatest forwards performance of his career – greater than the 1979 Bledisloe Cup triumph and the 1984 victory over Wales.

    France scored three tries to Australia one, but Jones employed percentage tactics, ensuring that Australia played a forward-oriented ten-man-style of rugby, and Australia emerged victorious 27-14, with Lynagh scoring 21 points (a then record for him).

    Michael Lynagh

    (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

    What is the greatest achievement by any Australian rugby team?

    To beat the All Blacks in New Zealand will always be the ultimate in rugby, and perhaps nothing illustrates that better than their incredible record at Eden Park.

    The second last time the All Blacks were beaten at Eden Park, the Wallabies produced arguably their greatest ever defensive effort, as New Zealand produced some of the most incredible running rugby ever displayed on a rugby pitch, and nearly won but for an epidemic of dropped passes.

    Peter FitzSimons would later write in Nick Farr-Jones: The Authorised Biography that, “If Jones were ever to take a bow for coaching a team to a superb performance it would be now. In the two weeks leading up to the final Test, Jones’s training sessions were as well planned and they were precisely executed.”

    Simon Poidevin related in For Love Not Money that, “As we chased and tackled from one side of the field to the other it crossed my mind how grateful I was for all the gruelling training Jonsey had put into us early in the tour.”

    An impressed Bob Dwyer recalled seven years later in The Winning Way that, “my mind at once goes back to the third Test against New Zealand in 1986, when a team more or less the same as the 1984 team defended as well as any Australian side I have seen.”

    Jones was relentless in his pursuit of success in New Zealand during 1986, and the New Zealanders hated his abrasive approach to conquering their All Blacks.

    However, as Jones said: “If you want success in today’s world, you have to believe people are going to resent your achievement of it. You must be invigorated by that, not intimidated. I just live for now and go full throttle on what I’m doing now.”

    Talk of defence reminds me that the 1984 Grand Slam Wallabies only allowed one try in four Test matches to be scored against them.

    What should Alan Jones tell the Barbarians just before kick-off?

    Perhaps he should remind the players of what an awesome opportunity they have been given: ‘Just remember, there are four things that don’t come back: the spent arrow, the spoken word, lost time, and the missed opportunity.’

    Perhaps Jones should begin by talking about Nadia Comăneci, the Romanian gymnast, like he did before the Welsh Test of 1984. Maybe the Barbarians will play mistake-free rugby for the first 23 minutes of the game.

    No… I think there’s one thing, above all, that Alan Jones needs to tell the Barbarians – the Gucci Factor: “Do the hard work now, and long after you’ve paid the price, the quality will remain.”

    However the match turns out, I’m sure it will be, ‘Bigger than Quo Vadis, greater than anything!’

    And once the match is over, ‘The dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on…’

    I hope the Barbarians are ready to have an electric shock sent through their bodies, from a man who completed transformed Australian rugby for the better, and brought it previously unheard of success.

    To Alan Jones: Good luck on your return to coaching! I hope the Barbarians play a great game and don’t forget to remind them: “Do the hard work now, and long after you’ve paid the price, the quality will remain.”

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    The Crowd Says (224)

    • October 16th 2017 @ 7:21am
      Cynical Play said | October 16th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

      It is almost embarrassing, as a rugby fan in 2017, that the ARU have “dragged” out this misogynistic, bigoted old fool as a curiosity. His comments about women, public joking or worse (eg drown Gillard at sea, lynch Clover Moore, women are “wrecking the joint”) suggest a hater of women, and he should be nowhere near a game which is starting to attract many young women to play and watch. Further Jones’ racist rants over the years (almost daily sometimes) disclose him as a racist and he should be left out of any ARU endevour in a game which multi-cultural players and fans enjoy. This man’s values and behaviour are not what the ARU should be exposing. Granting him the public stage at a high level by the ARU is a mistake.

      • October 16th 2017 @ 9:01am
        RedandBlack said | October 16th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

        On the other hand – great to see that a bloke can have different politics than the loud mouthed left and still be acknowledged for his undoubted achievements. Gives me hope that maybe a bit of freedom remains – at least in parts. Why should you and your lot be allowed to think for all of us? Agree with him or not – I respect his right to opinions and an individual sense of humour – key word here is right fella. So knock it off for a bit and let a bit of the air of freedom circulate.

        • October 16th 2017 @ 12:20pm
          Cynical Play said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          The point is that this man espouses hate and intolerance on a daily basis (tune in to 2BG any day), which surely is not congruent with the values espoused by the ARU, or even just decent people wanting to participate in life. How typical to blame the “Left” as a deflection. Have a read of “Jonestown” sometime for some balance on your hero Jones. Better still, ask some of the boys/young men who had the misfortune of having Alan in their lives at the Kings School.

          • October 16th 2017 @ 8:47pm
            Stephen C said | October 16th 2017 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

            I hate it when this site turns political, but you started it, Cynical Play.
            That’s a pretty big call about Kings. You’d want to be sure of your facts before you start throwing that one around. And certainly hiding your name is a good idea, with that sort of slander.
            I know Alan personally and can assure you that he is anything but misogynistic or racist. He simply can’t tolerate idiots – male, female, black, white or purple. He goes after the Liberals as much as he goes after Labor and openly states that he has voted Yes in the gay marriage survey. He is almost personally responsible for the removal of Campbell Newman as Queensland Premier because he didn’t approve of his policies. Nothing to do with the Left or the Right.

            Perhaps a listen to 2GB for longer than 20 seconds might enlighten you. Endearing interviews with opera singers, ex-drug addicts, artists and all walks of life frequently balance the politically charged segments that you seem determined to gauge him by.

            Regardless of whether or not you like him, his pedigree as a Rugby coach and innovator speaks for itself.
            The public dismantling of reputations because of their opposing views is a worrying and all-too-regular sign of the bigotry and intolerance that exists in those purporting to represent the exact opposite.

            • October 17th 2017 @ 6:43am
              Cynical Play said | October 17th 2017 @ 6:43am | ! Report

              I have listened to him a lot on 2GB and frequently. Your threats to me remove none of the guilt which is on the pubic record

              It’s not his “opposing view” which makes an unacceptable coach for the BaaBaas in 2017, it’s his racist bigotry views as determined by the community. Don’t just listen to me.

              Don’t ask don’t tell and slap him on the back Stephen. (No surname? Hypocrite)

              • October 17th 2017 @ 4:38pm
                Stephen Creagh said | October 17th 2017 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

                My name is Stephen Creagh and I am not sure of the threats you refer to. I am a 42 year old passionate supporter of the Queensland Reds and the University of Queensland Rugby Club (one’s success counter-balances the other’s failure).
                I am a Brisbane boy, but have been living in Dubai for the last four years, hence the six hour delay in responding to your nonsense.

              • October 18th 2017 @ 8:54am
                RedandBlack said | October 18th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

                Stephan there is no point in debating with these clowns – they do not listen. I just make one comment to not ‘stand by and do nothing’. and then leave it. They know nothing of history and precious little of morality. God help us all when the righteous take charge – whether it be the Puritans, Nazis, Communists or PC Brigade – they don’t know what they are doing until its done – and then its too late and we are all hanging in there by our finger tips.

          • October 17th 2017 @ 1:19am
            RahRah said | October 17th 2017 @ 1:19am | ! Report

            From this mornings report in the Australian
            “The Australian Rugby Union had discussed cutting the number of Australian Super Rugby teams from five teams to four in August last year, eight days before entering into the Alliance agreement with the Western Force at which the Perth club voluntarily handed over their licence, a Senate Inquiry was told last night.”
            We can most certainly catch a glimpse into the values the ARU hold.
            And cue the resident apologist……………….

        • October 16th 2017 @ 1:06pm
          Taniwha said | October 16th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

          Agree RedandBlack, nobody hates like the left, their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

          Cynical Play, “When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.” — Epictetus

          • October 16th 2017 @ 1:16pm
            Cynical Play said | October 16th 2017 @ 1:16pm | ! Report

            I am not the Left. I am a rugby lover, calling this man for the racist, bigot he is.

            • October 16th 2017 @ 3:25pm
              Fishboy said | October 16th 2017 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

              Saying it is all about the rugby is like the proverbial Mussolini got the trains to run on time. And quoting the bible to impart some form of moral authority is pious and sophomoritic. As you are familiar with it Taniwha, you obviously know it is full of contradictory, racist, misogynist claptrap (if he created the sun on the fourth day, how’d he know the first three days had passed?). Yes it contains some beautiful prose and some inspirational morality tales, but selectively quoting it is deceitful, and “yeah without sin” was never meant to condone all behaviours and actions.

              Yes, Jones made a wonderfull contribution to Australian rugby; but the defence of his involvement today is remeniscent of the pro-tour views in Aus and NZ in the late 70s and early 80s.

              A interesting article Frank, but Cynical Play brings a much needed perspective.

              And I’ve never understood the view that the “right” criticising something is thoughtful analysis, while when done by the “left”, it is the thought police trying to run the joint. That seems the worst form of sophistry to me. And to save you the trouble, yes, I’m a leftie. Try reading some more recent books, and you might become one too.

              • Roar Guru

                October 16th 2017 @ 3:50pm
                Train Without A Station said | October 16th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

                And I’ve never understood the view that the “right” criticising something is thoughtful analysis, while when done by the “left”, it is the thought police trying to run the joint. That seems the worst form of sophistry to me. And to save you the trouble, yes, I’m a leftie. Try reading some more recent books, and you might become one too.

                Because people who can’t argue the point just resort to these sort of Ad hominem attacks by creating some fictional, uniform “left” and then try and describe anybody on the left as that, thinking they have some sort of moral superiority as champions of “free speech” and other rubbish that they gladly will oppose when it’s used to convey a message that doesn’t suit them.

              • October 16th 2017 @ 6:23pm
                Fishboy said | October 16th 2017 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

                Or anybody to the perceived left of them who doesn’t agree verbatim with them TWAS. Just laziness; why take the trouble to learn and engage in original thought, when one can just adopt simplistic paradigms?

                And I agree with CP; TWAS for Ba Bas coach!

              • October 16th 2017 @ 5:34pm
                Alan said | October 16th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

                Epictetus was a Greek philosopher…

              • October 16th 2017 @ 7:38pm
                Fishboy said | October 16th 2017 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

                Oh, sounds like I need to do some more reading then.

              • October 16th 2017 @ 11:50pm
                Bakkies said | October 16th 2017 @ 11:50pm | ! Report

                ‘TWAS for Ba Bas coach!’

                TWAS wouldn’t coach against his employee’s flagship side

            • October 16th 2017 @ 5:29pm
              Dave said | October 16th 2017 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

              “I am not the left”. Proceeds to list marxist talking points (probably without realising it too!)

              • October 16th 2017 @ 6:33pm
                Cynical Play said | October 16th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

                We talking Groucho or Harpo Dave?

            • October 16th 2017 @ 8:47pm
              Dave said | October 16th 2017 @ 8:47pm | ! Report

              Oh my mistake. One of Lenins ‘useful idiots’ it is. At least Gillard is a Fabian Socialist, so she actually understands what it is she is cheering for, which as evil as that is, at least is honest. No wonder Lenin held your lot in such low regard

              • October 17th 2017 @ 2:28am
                aussikiwi said | October 17th 2017 @ 2:28am | ! Report

                Dave, like Jones himself, you substitute invective and insult for debate. People are objecting to Jones being selected as coach as coach because he has a track record af appalling behaviour.

                That makes them marxists or leninists? Your response is straight out of the Trump playbook. Avoid actual issues and lie about people. The alt-right would be funny if it wasn’t so dangerous.

              • October 17th 2017 @ 4:00pm
                Nick Ferris said | October 17th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

                I was always a McCartney fan over Lenin, but the Ruttles got it right, this is the Tragical History Tour.

      • October 16th 2017 @ 10:20am
        Jake said | October 16th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

        Agree mate. Loud mouthed bully. Should have been sent off into the wilderness after advocating for Julia Gillard to put in a sack and dumped at see.
        (Was a) Good coach. Not much of a bloke.

      • October 16th 2017 @ 10:53am
        Nothing if not critical said | October 16th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        Agree with you 100% CP. ARU are obviously not only clueless when it comes to building a successful team culture, they’re also tone deaf to the times we live in.

        • Roar Guru

          October 16th 2017 @ 10:57am
          Train Without A Station said | October 16th 2017 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          How has Jones appointment as Barbarians coach got anything to do with the ARU?

          You are aware the Barbarians FC are a UK based team that chooses their own staff?

          • October 17th 2017 @ 3:19am
            Nothing if not critical said | October 17th 2017 @ 3:19am | ! Report

            I was not aware of that. I stand corrected. But would be surprised if they weren’t involved in some capacity. After all the ARU agreed to the game

            • Roar Guru

              October 17th 2017 @ 8:27am
              Train Without A Station said | October 17th 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

              Why would the ARU be involved in some capacity?

              Were they involved in past Barbarians coach appointments? No. So why this one?

      • Roar Guru

        October 16th 2017 @ 10:58am
        Train Without A Station said | October 16th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

        How have the ARU dragged him out?

        The ARU don’t appoint the Barbarians staff. The Barbarians FC do…

        • October 16th 2017 @ 12:21pm
          Cynical Play said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

          Are you saying there was NO consultation? Of course there was.

          • Roar Guru

            October 16th 2017 @ 12:23pm
            Train Without A Station said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

            Because you say so?

            The ARU have no say in who the Barbarians hire.

            • October 16th 2017 @ 12:49pm
              Cynical Play said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

              They agreed to the game. You saying they were in the dark about Jones? Come on.

              • October 16th 2017 @ 12:57pm
                Fionn said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

                You could be right, CP, but we don’t have any knowledge whatsoever that indicates one way or another. It is all pure guesswork.

              • October 16th 2017 @ 1:04pm
                Fionn said | October 16th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

                Regardless of what I personally think about Jones I do not think it is the ARUs role to refuse to play the Barbarians based on who they chose as coach.

              • October 16th 2017 @ 1:18pm
                Bakkies said | October 16th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

                The ARU are stupid but not that stupid. Jones is the only media háck who has justifiably torn strips off Cameron de Clyne.

                Speaking of de Clyne, Fionn are you going down to watch him get a drilling at the Senate Committee hearing in Canberra today at 7pm AEDT?

              • October 16th 2017 @ 3:01pm
                Fionn said | October 16th 2017 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                Bakkies, I unfortunately have tennis tonight and can’t get out of it. If it was any other night of the week I would try and get there.

                Are you going to watch the stream?

              • October 16th 2017 @ 3:12pm
                Bakkies said | October 16th 2017 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

                I am going to watch the stream. Pop corn is ready to go. Enough for the 90 minute session.

              • October 16th 2017 @ 7:16pm
                Bakkies said | October 16th 2017 @ 7:16pm | ! Report

                On now and de Clyne still doesn’t know what a Senate Committee is.

          • Roar Rookie

            October 16th 2017 @ 12:31pm
            piru said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

            Who would you have picked CP?

            • October 16th 2017 @ 12:48pm
              Cynical Play said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

              Almost anyone else. Dwyer, Link, Wessels, Scott Allen, even TWAS. As long as their off field values and behaviour match the coaching skill.

            • October 16th 2017 @ 1:04pm
              Cynical Play said | October 16th 2017 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

              this from the Barbarians website:


              “Who can Play for the Barbarians?
              – The only criteria a player must fulfil to receive an invitation from The Barbarians are: that the player’s rugby is of a good standard and that they behave themselves on and off the field. There is no discrimination on the basis of a player’s race, colour or creed..”

              Clearly they have a different standard for invitations to Coaches… or they are incredibly naive.

              • Roar Guru

                October 16th 2017 @ 2:00pm
                Train Without A Station said | October 16th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                If you want to criticize the Barbarians for the selection I will certainly join you.

      • October 16th 2017 @ 12:00pm
        Lewis said | October 16th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        Completely agree.
        At a time when the sport has such an opportunity to improve it’s public image in this country this is certainly a step in the wrong direction.

      • October 16th 2017 @ 11:15pm
        Fishboy said | October 16th 2017 @ 11:15pm | ! Report

        Bloody heck CP, what have you started??? The snowflake/freedom of speech/thought police/anti-leftie asinine BS arguments are flowing thick and fast. So tedious. Shows the ratio of 2GB listeners on the site. Makes one wish for the good old days when everyone just argued over too many Tahs.

      • October 16th 2017 @ 11:26pm
        mzilikazi said | October 16th 2017 @ 11:26pm | ! Report

        Well said,CP. Jones may have been a great coach, but he should be kept well away from Australian rugby now.

      • October 18th 2017 @ 2:32pm
        ajg said | October 18th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

        Well said mate – You’re going to get a lot of flak thrown your way for this. But I think you are absolutely right.

        The guy is an embarrassment to the whole country. But then the EARU are a trainwreck so maybe this is a marriage made in heaven

    • October 16th 2017 @ 7:34am
      Crash Ball2 said | October 16th 2017 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      Really nice piece, Frank – thank you.

    • October 16th 2017 @ 7:47am
      riddler said | October 16th 2017 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      awesome frank.. well done..and some great memories from my childhood of international rugby..

    • Roar Guru

      October 16th 2017 @ 8:12am
      sheek said | October 16th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      Thanks Frank,

      Thoroughly enjoyed reading your article.

      Alan Jones great gift was having a keen eye for talent, & picking the right players for their position.

      Unlike Bob Dwyer in his first stint as Wallaby coach, Jones was unencumbered by philosophy or ideology (i.e., Dwyer & the running game). He was pragmatic & flexible in his approach, which you need to be at the highest level.

      However, he respected the principle tenets of rugby, something that our current coaches at test & super level don’t seem to do.

      Jones knew the critical importance of a powerful front-row platform. In rugby, you’re not in the game unless you are absolutely solid up-front.

      Topo Rodriguez had barely landed in Australia to start a new life & Jones had him dragooned into Wallaby service. It’s also why he preferred the big unit Tom Lawton at hooker over the smaller but more mobile Mark McBain.

      Also, back in the 80s when jumping was unassisted, Jones understood the need for tall timber, the requirement being four jumpers. So both Cutler & Codey quickly found themselves recruited into the team.

      Jones has always denied being involved in Ella’s sacking as test captain, but it was the right decision, whatever Mark might still think about it. As captain, Ella had become too concerned for his fellow players & too conservative in his approach. Being relieved of the captaincy freed him up to play his natural, scintillating game.

      Last but not least Jones quickly understood the necessity of a reliable goal kicker, which is why Lynagh was quickly brought into the team.

      Sometimes, you have to lose to win. The 1984 Bledisloe Cup was an opportunity lost. The Wallabies had the measure of the ABs in the first test, tactically outplaying them. But it was the ABs who played the smarter rugby in the two remains tests to win the series.

      On the grand slam tour we finally saw how good Mark Ella really was given the opportunity to play behind a consistently strong, dominant pack for the only time in his 25 tests, five year career.

      After the BC series, Jones decided that while Slack remained captain for the big decisions, Ella would call the backline plays. It worked a treat.

      This was a direct response to the 3rd test against the ABs at the SCG when the three strong personalities in the Wallaby midfield – Ella, Hawker & Slack – spent most of the match arguing incessantly with each other about tactics.

      I was on the SCG hill that day, & although i couldn’t decipher exactly what was being said, the loud yelling & body language clearly showed three agitated & exasperated backline players. Poor old Campo & Moony on the wings had little to do that day.

      Jones fixed that.

      It’s a shame in 1987 Jones started his morning radio show. While that would prove a personal triumph for him, it was the beginning of the end of his tenure as Wallaby coach.

      The players resented hanging around all day waiting for afternoon training & began to lose their patience & respect for Jones. By the end of 1987, most of the players were unfortunately fed up with him.

      An all-time Wallaby coaching/managing triumvirate would include Rod MacQueen as head coach, Bob Dwyer as attack coach & Alan Jones as team manager & co-selector.

      The only problem would be to get these three powerful egos working together!

      Thanks again Frank, really enjoyed the article.

      • Roar Guru

        October 16th 2017 @ 9:51am
        PeterK said | October 16th 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

        good post

        I would have McQueen as head coach and team manager (he got on best over the long term with all his players), Dwyer as attack and kicking coach (most entertaining and creative), Jones as defence and tactics / strategy coach (most astute and hard nosed) with all 3 as selectors.

        • Roar Guru

          October 16th 2017 @ 10:32am
          sheek said | October 16th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

          Thanks PK,

          Yes, the assumption would be that all three were co-selectors. Below is perhaps an expanded list.

          Rod MacQueen – head coach (overall generalissimo)

          Bob Dwyer – attack & tactics (they go hand in hand)

          Alan Jones – manager & strategy (his role would be greater than the normal modern interpretation)

          Topo Rodriguez – scrum coach (the ultimate guru of the ‘dark arts’)

          Mark Ella – skills coach (the absolute in basics of passing, catching, running & support)

          John Muggleton – defence coach

          Michael Lynagh or Matt Burke – kicking coach (both legendary ex-Wallabies)

          Chilla Wilson – team doctor (ex-Wallaby, surgeon & popular, laid-back former manager)

          Greg Craig – physio #1 (a legend at his craft)

          Cameron Lillicrap – physio #2 (ex-Wallaby)

          Steve Nance – strength & conditioning (I think he was the guy in this role under MaQueen)

          George Gregan – trainer, water runner, tactics conveyor & on-the-spot motivator (ex-Wallabies version of Alfie Langer)

          Bill Gates – IT specialist/match review (just kidding!)

    • Roar Guru

      October 16th 2017 @ 8:15am
      Derm McCrum said | October 16th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

      Great article, Frank – lovely piece of writing. Thanks.

    • October 16th 2017 @ 8:46am
      Redderthankevin said | October 16th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

      Why do we have to have the barbarians. Why can’t the wallabies play the reds? The reds are our flagship club. The reds could have invite players from the brumbies and rebels. I don’t think the tahs would play for the reds and that’s more than ok. But imagine the support for the game. It would be a huge sell out!!!! The reds v the wallabies. What a game!!!

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