Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones had a difficult second term at the helm of the Wallabies. Photo: SABC Sport

These are the frontrunners to replace Eddie Jones as Wallabies coach

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones resigned after Australia’s poor showing at the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and the hunt is on for his replacement.

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones had a difficult second term at the helm of the Wallabies. Photo: SABC Sport

Eddie Jones’ first term as Wallabies coach from 2001 until 2005 included a World Cup final appearance for Australia in 2003 and the ability to compete with the best teams in the world.

Jones’ second tenure however, lasting just 10 months, was disastrous and speculation had been rife that the 63-year-old would walk away after just two wins from nine Tests. It was officially announced on Sunday that the under-fire head coach of the Wallabies has resigned.

ALSO READ: CONFIRMED: Eddie Jones QUITS as Wallabies coach

With Australia set to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup, Rugby Australia needs a saviour and according to The Age, these are the frontrunners to replace Jones as Wallabies coach:

Dan McKellar

Rugby Australia finds itself in turbulent waters and may consider the guidance of a seasoned and proven Australian coach.

Although McKellar is still in the early stages of his three-year contract with the prominent English club, Leicester Tigers, the allure of leading the Wallabies could entice him back home.

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With a five-year stint as head coach of the Brumbies and two years as Dave Rennie’s assistant with the Wallabies, McKellar has a strong relationship with several members of the Wallabies squad. This opportunity might be too good for him to turn down.

Wallabies legend Stephen Larkham

Larkham is another obvious choice to take over from Jones. He was a standout player for the Wallabies and has in-depth knowledge of Australian rugby, thanks to two terms as Brumbies head coach from 2014 to 2017 and currently.

He also had a stint as the Wallabies attack coach before coaching European heavyweights Munster in Ireland, achieving a United Rugby Championship runner-up spot in 2021. Can this decorated player replicate his success as a coach?

Michael Cheika

Cheika is considered an outside bet as new Wallabies coach, but a perfect short-term jump lead for a stuttering Wallabies’ engine. He enjoyed a successful World Cup in France, almost leading Argentina to third place.

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After a slow start in the tournament, Cheika galvanised the Pumas into a formidable outfit that defeated Wales in a thrilling quarter-final.

After the messy ending of Cheika’s reign as Wallabies coach in 2019, people tend to forget his brilliance in his first year in 2015, where he won World Rugby coach of the year and lead Australia to a World Cup final.

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This proud Australian is also credited in Ireland for turning Leinster into one of European rugby’s giants and is considered one of the game’s most innovative thinkers.

Wild Cards to replace Eddie Jones

Andy Friend. Perhaps not a household name in Australian rugby, Friend has built up an excellent reputation in European club rugby with Irish club Connacht.
Joe Schmidt. The Kiwi is known for his depth of analysis that transformed Irish rugby into a global force. He has been working as part of the All Blacks coaching staff since 2021.
Ian Foster. The All Blacks found their form at the World Cup with Foster inspiring his team to play some of the most attractive rugby in the tournament and getting them into the final.