CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Australia’s embattled Wallabies continue their fall from grace, as they stare down a possibility of exiting the Rugby Union World Cup at the pool stages, after a shock 22-15 loss to Fiji in Saint-Étienne.
A loss to Fiji was not the first knock that Australian rugby fans were expecting the green and gold to take in this tournament, however it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise for a sporting body that remains committed to only picking international sides from four or five elite private schools and Kiwi schoolboy YouTube highlights.
This result has sparked an existential crisis amongst Australia’s rugby union loyalists, who will be today looking to blame either the ref or whichever poor bloke has been most recently rotated in as the national coach for a short-lived boost in confidence amongst the RA board members who still refuse to admit that a winning rugby world cup side exists in the Penrith Panthers NRL grassroots system alone.
While Eddie Jones has made it clear he is playing a long game, and has been looking ahead to the 2027 World Cup since he took the job, this kind of patience and commitment is not commonly associated with the long lunching executives that make up Rugby Australia’s top brass.
As predicted, the sparkling RM Williams boots are bumping toes in a Sydney boardroom this morning, as RA executives begin brainstorming ways to turn this fall from grace around – without obviously looking inward at their impractical dedication to upper class cliquishness.
Much like the Liberal Party of Australia and other increasingly irrelevant stuffed-shirt institutions like the Australian Wool Board and the Freemasons, the only trick left in RA’s playbook is to orchestrate another leadership spill.
After rotating through more coaches than captains over the last decade, the Wallabies are now beholden to sugar-hit tactics of the Rugby Australia board – who are unsurprisingly made up of the same exact caste of old toffs that thought replacing Prime Minister Tony Abbott with Malcolm Turnbull, and then replacing Malcolm Turnbull with Scott Morrison would garner better results for the Australian Government.
It is not yet known if Eddie Jones will be placed on the chopping block just yet, but one thing is for certain is the very real problems he has inherited are now his – and only his problems.
That is, in the eyes of the shiraz conservatives who have driven this once powerful institution into the wall at full pace, in their efforts to maintain the gentlemanly exclusivity that made them feel so important in the nineties.