Cooper has called out Jones for his lack of loyalty to Australia Rugby. Image: SABC Sport

Quade Cooper opens up about Eddie Jones and Wallabies’ World Cup nightmare

Former Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper has spoken out for the first time about his World Cup snubbing and why the campaign went so wrong.


Cooper has called out Jones for his lack of loyalty to Australia Rugby. Image: SABC Sport

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Cooper painted a grim picture of a coach (Eddie Jones) who was out of touch with his Wallabies players.

In May, former Australia coach Eddie Jones indicated Cooper, Australia’s most experienced playmaker, would likely go to the Rugby World Cup in France as his first-choice No.10.

Cooper was ultimately axed before the global showpiece, along with other senior players. Australia went on to have their worst-ever showing at a World Cup, failing to advance past the pool stages.

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‘Bad role model’ for Wallabies

Cooper was reportedly seen as not being the right role model for the team, while assistant coaches were selected that Cooper believes were out of their depth. Jones was criticised for his mad scientist approach to building a coaching team.

“Key individuals around Eddie lacked significant expertise, said Cooper. “As players, we tried to buy into what he was preaching, as not doing so would paint us as a detriment. However, common sense was hard to ignore, and it was remarkable that Rugby Australia couldn’t see it.”

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Cooper went on to say that Jones wasn’t ready to listen to the players.

“We have a lot of really talented players with great rugby IP, and I certainly enjoyed some of the conversations we had. But at the end of the day, he [Jones] wasn’t receptive to new ideas, which is why I found it hard to believe he questioned myself, Hoops’ [Michael Hooper], and Foles’ [Bernard Foley] desire to win.”

The worst-kept secret

After much speculation, this week the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) announced Jones’ appointment as Japan head coach, a mere six weeks after the Australian resigned from his job as Wallabies head coach.

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Jones had repeatedly denied rumours that he had been speaking to the JRFU, after it was reported in September that he held a Zoom interview with the governing body on August 25.

Cooper called out Jones for his lack of loyalty and walking out less than a year into his five-year deal to coach in Japan.

“It’s an interesting thing. Coaches ask a lot of players. I sat in on meetings and the coaches asked players to show loyalty for the country. It’s quite a tough pill to swallow when you see some of the things that have transpired over the past few months. I can’t change allegiances tomorrow if I wanted to. That’s an interesting aspect of a coach,” Cooper added.

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As for the next Wallabies coach, Cooper suggested Dan McKellar could be the best man for the job. McKeller continues to be linked to the role, despite him stating that he is staying at Leicester Tigers.

“There’s a lot of great coaches out there. Dan McKellar’s name was thrown out there. From my time with him and Dave Rennie, he was a phenomenal talent in terms of attention to detail. As a player, that was a huge difference. With Dave and Dan, you went into games with all the answers.”