Latham axing 'cruel': Evans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Latham axing 'cruel': Evans

By Michael Crutcher 10/07/2003 06:54:58 PM Comments (0)

One of Australia's most experienced rugby union coaches has accused national coach Eddie Jones of playing "ducks and drakes" with the Wallabies' World Cup defence.

Alec Evans, an assistant coach during Australia's World Cup campaigns in 1987 and 1999, slammed Jones and his selection panel for dumping Queensland fullback Chris Latham before Saturday night's Tri-Nations clash with the Springboks in Cape Town.

Evans, who said Latham's omission from the Wallabies 22 was "very cruel", insisted Jones was running out of time to settle on Australia's best combination before the World Cup began on October 10.

The Wallabies will defend the trophy won by Rod Macqueen's team almost four years ago.

"Rod Macqueen is one of the great coaches in world rugby. Eddie is yet to prove that and his record doesn't look all that great at the moment," Evans said.

"Eddie has to face up to the fact that he's now being measured and the team is being measured.

"He has to take stock of getting our best team and giving them the best chance to build.

"We don't appear to be doing that.

"We've got the best side in the world and we've got to start preparing it as the best side in the world instead of playing ducks and drakes.

"It's not good for the players and it's not good for the whole team."

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