The Roar
The Roar


Australia, where the bloody hell are ya? Eddie fires up on Chappelli, Poido, Bunnies, Origin 3 and invisible Wallabies

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14th July, 2022
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With the Wallabies camped out on the Gold Coast, England coach Eddie Jones has been left to beat the drum for the third Test in Sydney and to his own educated eye the buildup to a massive decider is not going too well.

“I’ve been disappointed in the media coverage,” said Jones at a press conference to announce his team in his old stomping ground of Coogee Beach on Thursday.

“I try to watch the news every morning. And there’s nothing on it about rugby at all. As a person that grew up with rugby here that’s disappointing. We need rugby to be strong sport and World Rugby needs Australia to be a strong rugby country.

“There’s always a battle with NRL and AFL isn’t it? We know that. We need rugby to be bit more prominent. So I think we’re doing our bit. I’ve been charity lunch today going out to coach in the community tonight. We’re trying to build the game up – a 1-1 decider. There’s got to be equal effort from the other team too.”

Asked if the Wallabies, who were due to fly in for the game later Thursday, sticking to a strategy designed to mirror a World Cup travel plan, should have been doing more, Jones responded: “That’s not for me to judge. You can judge that.”

Jones is trying his best, and he tapped into some big Australian themes as he looked ahead to a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground, in all likelihood the last time rugby will be played at the famous old ground.

“It’s a famous old ground and I’ve got great memories going out and watching Souths play used to watch third grade,  at midday, second grade then first grade – the great old days of Souths, and watching many a Ashes Test series.

“I was out there when [John] Snow knocked out [Terry] Jenner and there was obviously the bit of discourse going on between the fans and John Snow.


“And I was watching when Ian Chappell strode on for his first time as Australian captain. That’s how we want to play on Saturday, like Ian Chappell did walk on the the field and own it. Play with plenty of purpose, play with plenty of energy, play together and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

Jones met Chappell in the early 2000s. The cricketer was a famous hater of everything Pommie – especially Ian Botham – so he’s a strange role model for the leader of an English touring team.

“The way he approached his teams, building his teams, building the strength of the relationship in the teams, being tough, is something I’ve always admired about what he did with teams and I’ve always tried to do that with my teams,” said Jones.

This week at Coogee Oval and the surrounding suburbs, Jones has had plenty of old mates drop by, including Wallabies No.7 great Simon Poidevin, who has been chatting to the England players.

“The younger players don’t know who he is – they just see some old guy with a dog. A pretty fit old guy with a dog,” joked Jones.

“But he’s chatted to a few of our players and we had almost a traditional Randwick barbecue yesterday. The only thing that was missing was the old beers.


“That was good fun. It’s been a really good week for the players. They’ve trained hard, recovered well. Had a bit of history of the Randwick club.

“We’ve got a group going out following this with myself out to the club and doing a bit of training with the young kids.

England coach Eddie Jones arrives for an England squad training session at Coogee Oval on July 12, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

England coach Eddie Jones arrives for an England squad training session at Coogee Oval on July 12, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

“We’ve tried to involve ourselves in the community and we feel we feel good about where we’re at. We’re really looking forward to this game.”

Jones also reflected on the previous night’s incredible State of Origin battle and how his team would aim to reach a similar level of fire as the Blues and Maroons showed at Suncorp.

“What I enjoyed was the intensity they played that,” he said. “It’s a classic, you’ve got New South Wales, the strongest team that won the last game easily.


“They know what Queensland is going to bring. All the narrative about the game is ‘Queensland are underdogs’. But this is when they’re at their best – 50,000 Queenslanders full of XXXX, cheering.

“If it goes to form New South Wales wins. But that’s the great thing about sport that you’ve got this Queensland team missing Munster, missing Tualagi.  We’re missing a Tualagi, missing a Munster, the equivalent is Maro Itoje.

“We’re in that similar situation of whether we can find the right balance of aggression and control. Being fierce and being calm is a challenge for us. We’ve got a young inexperienced team but that’s a great challenge and a great opportunity.”