Alan Jones 'should coach Wallabies' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Alan Jones 'should coach Wallabies'

By Laine Clark 23/10/2007 07:36:40 PM Comments (0)

A "radical" approach is needed to revamp the Wallabies, according to Queensland Rugby Union chairman Peter Lewis.

And they don't come more radical than Lewis' plea to re-appoint Alan Jones as Australian coach.

Lewis also urged the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) to not "burn bridges" with another ex-national mentor Eddie Jones, saying the man who helped guide South Africa to World Cup glory could benefit the Wallabies as their technical advisor.

Lewis was the first to admit appointing influential media personality Jones as Wallabies coach for the first time since 1988 was "outside the square".

But Lewis said it had to be done to breath new life into rugby's current coaching philosophy that he believes is "killing the game".

"I think he would be ideal. He would bring a completely fresh approach, a whole new energy," Lewis told AAP.

"I had the opportunity to have a brief conversation with him before the World Cup and he was lamenting the loss of the running game and how things should change.

"I just think there is a sameness about all of the (Wallabies coaching) candidates and we really need to do something radical and that's where Alan comes in."

Ewen McKenzie, Laurie Fisher, John Muggleton, Scott Johnson, David Nucifora and Robbie Deans are candidates to succeed John Connolly as Wallabies coach.

Formal interviews are scheduled for November 9 with the ARU board to meet on November 16 to discuss the applications.

But Lewis was convinced Jones - who famously coached the Wallabies during the Grand Slam tour of the UK and Ireland in 1984 - was the man to rejuvenate Australian rugby.

"Let's look outside the square, let's do something different, let's shake it up," Lewis said.

"You need someone who comes in from outside the current philosophy of coaching which in my view is killing the game.

"It's all about safety first and defence. There was very little structured attack (at the World Cup).

"These guys (in the Australian backline) are being paid big money and they barely get dirty."

Lewis believed Jones would be "jumping out of his skin" to coach Australia again.

"I have been trying to contact him so I am just throwing it out there (but) I believe he would grab it with both hands if given the opportunity," he said.

"I think he would be jumping out of his skin and why wouldn't you?"

Jones had an impressive 23 wins from his 30 Tests during a four-year reign as Australian coach.

"He took Australia from nowhere to being the preeminent team in the world and the most attractive - and everyone copied us," Lewis said.

"But frankly no one has done it since.

"We have had a lot of success because we have great player stock.

"But in terms of the game we play we haven't really changed in the last 15 years."

Meanwhile, Lewis said Jones' namesake Eddie Jones would also boost the Wallabies in a support role.

"Perhaps Eddie has found his ideal role (as assistant coach/technical advisor) - let's not burn our bridges with him, he's got too much to offer," he said.

"If you spoke to the players he coached, to a man they might not like him or have a good relationship with him but they respect his rugby knowledge.

"He went there for two weeks and they (South Africa) kept him for 13 - that tells you something."

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