Rugby World Cup: How Aussie media have reacted to Wallabies' (and Eddie Jones') devastating pool defeat to Wales

Since the day the Wallabies departed Australia for the Rugby World Cup - perhaps even before - rugby writers across the ditch have had their Eddie Jones obituaries written and waiting for the opportune time to roll them out.

That time has come.

With their disastrous pool defeat to Wales, the two-time champions are likely headed for their earliest exit from the tournament and no-one has an ounce of sympathy for the head coach.

Remember, Jones left Sydney Airport wearing an outlandish hat and blasting Aussie media for their negativity.

Eddie Jones prepares the Wallabies for defeat to Wales.
Eddie Jones prepares the Wallabies for defeat to Wales. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Thanks for the worst press conference I've ever had in world rugby," he told them. "Give yourself uppercuts."

Turns out they were right all along... and they haven't held back telling him so.

Here's how Jones' demise - and that of his young Wallabies - has been greeted by his critics.


Tom Decent, Sydney Morning Herald  

The Eddie Jones experiment can officially be declared a disaster after the Wallabies all but crashed out of the World Cup in record-breaking fashion.  

With Jones watching in the stands in Lyon on Sunday (Monday AEST), just hours after this masthead revealed he'd had a job interview with Japan last month, the Wallabies were humiliated and outclassed 40-6 by Wales, who continued their perfect record in this tournament after three matches.  

Last week's 22-15 loss to Fiji was woeful but this defeat - Australia's heaviest to Wales - was ugly and easily the worst in their World Cup history.  

In terms of margin, it was Australia's worst loss at a World Cup, eclipsing the 24-point defeat in the 2019 quarter-final defeat against England.  

Australia never got into the contest and were blown away in almost every facet of the game.  

Until last week, the Wallabies had lost just three World Cup pool matches in 36 years. 


Julian Linden, The Australian

Australia's worst nightmare has come true.  

Needing to defeat Wales to have any chance of scraping into the World Cup quarter-finals, the Wallabies were humiliated 40-6 in Lyon in the early hours of Monday morning.  

Forget the fact the Wallabies have a minor mathematical chance of getting through if Fiji slip in their remaining games against Portugal and Georgia, because it is all over.  

For the first time in the history of the Rugby World Cup, the Wallabies will fail to make it past the pool phase, plunging the struggling code into a crisis that it may never recover from.  

The record books will also show this was an unprecedented embarrassment.  

In the 56 World Cup matches the Wallabies have played, dating back to the inaugural tournament in 1987, this was Australia's heaviest-ever defeat, eclipsing the 40-16 thumping by England in the 2019 quarter-finals.  

Eddie Jones addresses media on departure for the Rugby World Cup.
Eddie Jones addresses media on departure for the Rugby World Cup. Photo credit: Getty Images

A lot of the blame - and rightly so - will be directed at head coach Eddie Jones, though he is not the only culprit because this was a collective stuff-up on an industrial scale.  

Jones inherited a failing team from a sporting organisation that has become a laughing stock.  

But instead of making things better, as he promised he would, he made them worse. Much worse.  


Oliver Brown, Daily Telegraph  

Out of touch, out of luck, out of time.   

Eddie Jones has been a roguish constant in test rugby for over 20 years, turning himself into a one-man vaudeville act with his lethal tongue and rapier wit.   

Except nobody is laughing any longer, least of all Australia.   

The 63-year-old sweet-talked his way back into the Wallabies job on the pretext that his country needed his Solomonic wisdom to succeed.   

Eight months later, he has guided this team only to rank humiliation, with a first World Cup pool-stage exit in their history on the cards. Belatedly, his compatriots think they have been duped by someone who has talked a far better game than he has delivered.  

It is unconscionable that Jones carries on. Forget all the flannel that he could yet turn Australia into world-beaters in 2027.   

In eight test matches he has contrived only to beat Georgia, with that miserable sequence reaching its most vivid expression with this capitulation to a Wales side who could scarcely believe the flimsy resistance.   

"We'll beat Wales," he had declared, with an impish smile. Who was he kidding?   

Wallabies react to their defeat against Wales.
Wallabies react to their defeat against Wales. Photo credit: Getty Images

In taking this £400,000-a-year job straight after his sacking by the Rugby Football Union, this diminutive dictator has been trading on nothing more than blind faith.  


Gerard Meagher, The Guardian 

A penny for the thoughts of Dave Rennie.

The former Australia head coach, who was unceremoniously ditched to make room for the Eddie Jones circus, has largely kept his counsel ever since but his views on precisely what to make of this desperately low ebb that the Wallabies have reached would be mandatory listening.  

The manner in which Rennie was pushed aside never sat well and you cannot help but see this as comeuppance for Rugby Australia. The second coming of Jones has been an inglorious failure and it will only deepen the wounds for the 63-year-old that it was his old sparring partner Warren Gatland to hammer home the extent of it.

By the end of this humiliation, the Wallabies had long since thrown in the towel, Wales playing out a glorified training session.  

The only previous time Jones has failed to make it out of the pool stage at a World Cup was in 2015, when he was Japan's head coach. It was a tournament that changed the course of his career and you wonder if history will repeat itself eight years on.  

Dave Rennie in charge of the Wallabies.
Dave Rennie in charge of the Wallabies. Photo credit: Photosport

Ian Herbert, Daily Mail 

Eddie Jones has always liked to employ a chaos theory - going into a new job like an Exocet and looking for results by wreaking holy hell - but it was a different kind of bedlam he was creating ahead of this moment of truth for Australia.  

The build-up to the match was to include a late afternoon speech from the Australian sports minister, Anika Wells, discussing the nation's big plans as hosts of the next Rugby World Cup, at a fans' gathering place called Wallabies House, near the banks of the Rhone.  

But after revelations in Sunday's Sydney Morning Herald that Jones is already looking for an exit strategy - the newspaper and others claimed he has applied for the head coaching role with Japan and took part in a Zoom interview on August 25 - no-one was much interested in the minister.

Instead, in full view of the fans who had gathered for beers in the sunshine, Australia Rugby's chief executive Phil Waugh underwent the indignity of an inquisition at the hands of an Aussie press corps.  

Waugh answered everything, sweating in jacket and tight-fitting shirt, but there were more questions than answers. He speaks to Jones 'most days', he said, but evidently not this one. He said he was taking the colourful denial Jones has through a Wallabies spokesman at 'face value', yet admitted it would be 'very disappointing' if Jones was lying.  

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