Eddie, set, go: How a year from hell unravelled for Wallabies’ supposed saviour, Mr ‘100% commitment’


Eddie Jones’ year from hell started with such great promise as he was parachuted into the Wallabies’ coaching role following the swift sacking of Dave Rennie.

Here’s how it played out

January 16 – Ushered in as a saviour after replacing the sacked Dave Rennie less than eight months out from the World Cup, Jones declares his “smash-and-grab” mission to bring the Webb Ellis trophy back to Australia.

July 9 – The world champion Springboks, minus a dozen rested stars, crush the Wallabies 43-12 in Pretoria in Jones’s first Test back in charge of Australia in 17 years.

July 15 – Australia drops successive Tests to Argentina for the first time, with former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika engineering both defeats. Jones destroys his radio headset in the coaches’ box following the home loss in Sydney before telling the media the All Blacks should watch out in the next match.

July 29 – New Zealand have the last laugh, making a mockery of Jones’s pre-match taunt with a 38-7 shellacking at the MCG.

August 5 – The Bledisloe Cup is lost for the 21st year in a row after the Wallabies blow a 17-3 halftime lead to fall 23-20 in Dunedin.

August 10 – Jones stuns rugby fans by naming a World Cup squad without co-captain Michael Hooper and fellow veteran Quade Cooper, but maintains his youthful squad could still win the tournament.

August 17 – Wallabies attack coach Brad Davis quits amid talk he’d fallen out with Jones, who then tells the press pack to “give yourselves uppercuts, boys”, calling the media negative for quizzing him over the controversial non-selection of Cooper.

September 18 – After an unconvincing 20-point win over Georgia in their tournament opener, the Wallabies lose to Fiji for the first time in 69 years to leave their World Cup hopes in tatters.

September 24 – Reports emerge of Jones holding a secret interview with Japanese rugby on August 25 about becoming their head coach. Jones and Rugby Australia (RA) deny the reports.

Eddie Jones. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

September 25 – Wales thrash Australia 40-6, with the record loss ultimately sending the Wallabies packing from the World Cup before the quarter-finals for the first time.

October 2 – Australia’s World Cup campaign ends with an uninspiring 34-14 win over minnows Portugal.

October 17 – Jones fronts the media for the first time since Australia’s exit and repeatedly denies having held talks with Japanese rugby. He declares his “100 per cent” commitment to the Wallabies through to the 2027 global showpiece on home soil.

October 29 – Jones tells AAP he’s “not far away” from finalising an exit deal just 10 months into his five-year contract with the Wallabies, saying RA had “no strategy, no money”. Says he doesn’t have a job to go to.

October 31 – RA chief executive Phil Waugh confirms the ruling body has accepted Jones’s resignation as Wallabies head coach.

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