Jones predicts tough start for franchise - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jones predicts tough start for franchise

By Adrian Warren 06/09/2004 07:23:17 PM Comments (0)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has predicted a difficult start for Australia's new franchise in the expanded Super rugby competition starting in 2006.

Plans were announced on Monday for the Super 12 competition to be expanded to 14 teams with the addition of a fifth South African and fourth Australian franchise, while an extra round of matches will be added to the Tri Nations tournament.

Jones described the news as "terrific" but warned there was a lot of hard work ahead.

While the Brumbies were instantly competitive after starting from scratch in 1996, Jones felt the new Australian franchise would do it tough.

"I think it's going to be difficult, no doubt about it and it will all come back to diligence and planning, whether we get the foundations right," Jones said.

"You look at the Brumbies, they got that right, it was an easier time to do it.

"It's a harder environment now because our top 90 to 120 players are all signed up with their current franchises and you'd expect all of those franchises will want to keep their players, so it's going to be harder.

"It's going to be a real recruitment task for the fourth (Australian) Super 12 side, but definitely possible."

Neither Jones or new Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher felt the entire blueprint used to establish the Brumbies could automatically be utilised by the additional Australian team.

"The blueprint for the mid 90s is not necessarily a blueprint for 2006, I think that's what you've got to be careful of," Jones said.

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