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The Wallabies have found themselves in the doldrums. Australia have been underperforming for a number of seasons and they've been fighting a turf war with rugby league and Aussie rules. There is a sense of decline and they need a solution quickly. Therefore when the opportunity arose for Australia's prodigal son to return, it was too good to turn down. The sacking of Eddie Jones by England in November 2022 set the dominos in motion. Australia then sacked their own Head Coach, Dave Rennie. Eddie Jones was brought in with the hope of turning Australia around, just like he had achieved with England in 2016. The fiery ex-hooker is renowned for immediate results. However, Australia stumbled through The Rugby Championship with little sign of improvement.
Australia are one of the greats of World Cup history. The gold coated side have lifted the William Webb Ellis Cup on two occasions and played in four finals. However, the emphasis is on 'history' and it is becoming ancient. The Wallabies enjoyed their success in 1991 and 1999. In 2003, they cruelly lost in extra time to the old rivals with an extra time drop goal from England at their home World Cup. In 2015 they were smashed 34-17 in the final by regional rivals, New Zealand.
The blessing for the Wallabies is they find themselves in the same pool as Wales who have their own woes after also changing coaches just twelve months out from the RWC. However, they are also joined in the pool by Fiji and Georgia who are both on the up and have points to prove to tier 1 nations. Jones will be focusing on physicality to see his side through. The 145kg Will Skelton has been recalled from France and there are a range of other monstrous carriers to be called upon including Taniela 'Tongan Thor' Tupou, Marika Koroibete, Samu Kerevi and Rob Valetini. Australia also have some promising youngsters bursting onto the scene. Mark Nawaqanitawase can carve open defences from the wing whilst the Angus Bell has shown promise in his own capabilities as a loosehead prop. Yet, in true Eddie Jones fashion, his World Cup selection included a number of curve balls. Wallabies legend Quade Cooper was dropped and 22-year old Carter Gordon has been backed at fly half. Meanwhile, former captain Michael Hooper has failed to make it back from injury and was also omitted from the 33-man squad. There is a sense that Eddie Jones is building a team for the 2027 World Cup at home in Australia. The Aussies have the raw materials, but the question remains whether they can construct a World Cup winning side this time around... If so, the foundations will still be shaky!
World Cup Titles
Best RWC Finish
World Rugby Ranking
(as of 27th August)
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