The bombshell announcement coming out of Rugby Australia earlier today sees the mercurial Eddie Jones taking the Wallaby reigns from Dave Rennie just eight months out from the World Cup in France.
Just last week, it was reported in the press that there would be no room for Jones in Australia’s current coaching staff, making the development all the more surprising.
Speaking onRaging Boar Productions' Gold Digger Rugby, Jones shared some of his insights into what, he feels, Australian rugby needs going forward.
“I reckon you’ve always got to go back to the roots of the game, and the roots of the game in Australia is club rugby, he said.
“After the tour I went down to Randwick, sat in the sun and watched Randwick play Eastwood, and the level of rugby was pretty good. But they’re part time players.
“Make club rugby as strong as possible. To create another artificial level is not going to work because the rugby is not good enough.
“When you can’t sell out a Wallabies home game against New Zealand, they’re not going to watch an NRC game which is an artificial group of players together.
“But they’ll go down and watch a strong Randwick or they’ll go down and watch a Sydney Uni. I reckon if you made that strong comp stronger… that would be my core administration advice.”
Jones also touched on the state of rugby in Australia at present, with the sport not currently enjoying the kind of popularity it has in the past. At the heart of this, Jones believes, is the trend of kids to pick a sport and specialise in it as soon as possible.
“One of the reasons why maybe there’s a decline in Australia is that a number of kids aren’t playing double sports because there’s such an, and I call it an obsession, to get specialised at an early age now that they’re missing out on the benefits to play a double sport,” he said.
“Just as a kid growing up… we got all our basic skill training from rugby league, not from rugby union.
“Rugby union, because it’s such a complex game, and you’ve got to get it organised… the basic skill isn’t coached hard enough and that was definitely an advantage.
“I think it was Murray Mexted was talking about when he was playing against the Australian sides, how good they were at ruck raiding and being able to pass.
“That was a skill that Australia almost had over the rest of the world, and now we’ve lost that.”