Wallabies won't win World Cup: Jones - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies won't win World Cup: Jones

By Darren Walton 25/03/2010 05:32:31 PM Comments (0)

Nominating France as the team to beat, former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones suspects the 2011 Rugby World Cup may come too soon for Robbie Deans' improving Australian side.

Jones, now coaching in Japan, says it's heartening to see coach Deans build depth across the park with the national team - but he doubts the Wallabies will be ready to land the sport's greatest prize in New Zealand next year.

"Maybe it's just going to be a bit too early for them," Jones said after casting an eye over NSW Waratahs training on Thursday.

"There's a number of good young players around, but maybe it's just one cycle too early for them."

Jones, who guided Australia to the 2003 World Cup final, is particularly excited about the emergence of Queensland's dynamic halves duo of Quade Cooper and Will Genia, who loom as Deans' most likely Test combination for the 2010 Tri Nations.

"The nine and 10 at Queensland are just outstanding," Jones said.

"Genia is a running halfback, he's also got a beautiful pass and with the quick ruck ball he's also been terrorising ruck defenders, and Quade's the best 10 at varying his alignment.

"He varies the alignment on the speed of the ball; he flattens up when it's quick and he gets a little bit deeper when it's slow.

"It's only six or seven weeks into the (Super 14) competition but certainly Genia looks like he's a long-term prospect.

"It's their fourth year in the Super 14 now and I think it's very important to understand that they're now getting that maturity, starting to play at a high level."

If Cooper wins the Wallabies No.10 jumper, star playmaker Matt Giteau, who has been Deans' preferred five-eighth, will move to inside centre.

"The young 10 at the Brumbies is (also) a very good player - (Matt) Toomua," Jones said.

"With him and Quade going through, there's a lot of upside there for Australia in the 10 position and Giteau is an instinctive runner and will enjoy the chance to play at 12."

Still, the average age of the incumbent Wallabies line-up is 23 and Jones - with historical statistics to support his belief - says Test and Super rugby players don't generally peak until about 27.

"If I was a betting man, I'd back France (to win the World Cup)," Jones said.

"The only thing they're missing now is two jumping locks. If they are able to find at least one jumping lock, they'll be a very hard side to beat in New Zealand.

"It's been shown they play well there for some reason.

"You'd expect New Zealand to do well.

"South Africa, I think, will struggle this year but will be strong for the World Cup."

Jones served as Jake White's assistant coach when South Africa won the 2007 World Cup and hasn't ruled out accepting a role with a national team again at next year's tournament.

"There's a few things around at the moment but, in all honesty, I've committed myself to Suntory (in Japan for the next four years) and I want to do that well," he said.

And Jones hasn't completely closed the door on one day coaching the Wallabies again.

"Look, I don't have any burning desire. I'd never say no, but I've moved on," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news