Rugby Australia’s decision to replace Dave Rennie with Eddie Jones ahead of this year’s World Cup could breathe new life into the Test careers of some fallen stars.
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has revealed that his return to Australian shores could open up some “opportunities for players who thought” they had “missed out” on selection.
Queensland Reds star Harry Wilson recently spoke about how the coaching change had given him “hope” of a Wallabies recall, after being dropped by Dave Rennie last year.
But the loose forward isn’t the only player dreaming of Wallaby gold.
Waratahs enforcer Lachlan Swinton hasn’t played for the Wallabies in over a year, after injuring his right shoulder in the opening round of Super Rugby Pacific last season.
The devastating injury, which ended his season before it’d really begun, seemingly saw him fall down the pecking order at Blindside Flanker.
But Swinton told RugbyPass that “everyone’s on a level playing field now” that legendary coach Jones is in charge – and he might be right, too.
Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Jones said that while “history” has to play a part in selection decisions, his arrival could open the door for players to return to international rugby.
“I think selection is always… there’s a bit of history (involved),” Jones told SEN Breakfast.
“But it also, with a new coach coming in, it also opens up opportunities for players who thought maybe they had missed out and haven’t been working as hard as they can to do a little bit more hard work and find a way to be a little bit better.”
Eddie Jones is box office, there’s no denying that. The legendary coach is exactly what Australian rugby needs, as the sport looks to return to its former glory.
The 63-year-old is not shying away from the fact that Australian rugby wasn’t what it used to be.
Jones coached the Wallabies to a World Cup final on home soil 20 years ago, when rugby was arguably a top three winter code Down Under.
Having returned to Australia after stints with South Africa, Japan and England, Jones is eager to help the Wallabies return to winning ways both on and off the field.
“We’ve definitely dropped off (in popularity),” he added.
“I came out with England last year and we had our first Test in Perth and I spent a little bit of time with (former Australian cricket coach) Justin Langer.