Former Wallabies fullback Matt Burke has declared Rugby Australia “has to” install an Australian as the next coach after the “catastrophic fail” that was Eddie Jones’s short-lived tenure.
Despite declaring his commitment to Australian rugby multiple times during and after his team’s World Cup disaster in France, Jones is walking away from his five-year deal after less than 12 months, leaving “rubble” behind him according to Burke.
Former Wallabies assistants Dan McKellar, who has an exit cause from his contract with Leicester, and Stephen Larkham, the Brumbies coach, are among the leading candidates to replace Jones.
Burke, who played 81 Tests for the Wallabies, implored RA to “move on” from former coach Michael Cheika, who took Argentina to the World Cp semi-finals, declaring he was not the right man for the current fracture situation the sport finds itself in.
“I think they need to move on from that.,” he said on Monday morning.
“Do they look at someone like Stephen Larkham? He had a stint under Cheika in 2015. Is he mature enough to make that switch? It certainly has to be an Australian.
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“Hopefully, they get the right direction for Australian rugby.”
Burke was scathing of Jones for both the way he went about his short time in charge and his exit amid continued links to the head coaching role in Japan that he has denied he is moving on to.
From poor World Cup selections to “erratic” decision making, Jones had left the sport in a worse spot than when he took over, Burke said.
“The Wallabies are lower than Qantas with how they are perceived,” he told the Big Sports Breakfast.
“Maybe it’s better for Australian rugby. Jones was always going to come out and say he didn’t get the resources, but in hindsight when we look back it wasn’t the right choice.
“We all got caught up in the hype of Eddie Jones. Look what he did with England in 2015, but it’s been a catastrophic fail.
“The last six months he has had and the erratic decision making, that was the most frustrating part.”
Burke said Jones would also tarnish his legacy and reputation if he did take up the Japan job.
“Legacy and integrity is so much of what is sport and business and if he bails and goes across there, his name will fall down massively in the ranks from where he was and what he has done,” he said.
Rugby Australia is yet to make official comment on Jones’s departure.
Source website: www.foxsports.com.au