Former Test star Drew Mitchell launches stunning attack on Wallabies coach Eddie Jones after shock RWC loss to Fiji

Former Test star Drew Mitchell launches stunning attack on Wallabies coach Eddie Jones after shock RWC loss to Fiji
  • PublishedSeptember 21, 2023

Former Test winger Drew Mitchell has launched a stunning attack on Wallabies coach Eddie Jones in the aftermath of Australia’s shock 15-22 loss to Fiji at the Rugby World Cup.

In Saint-Etienne on Monday morning Australia recorded its first loss to Fiji in 69 years leaving the Wallabies with a must-win clash against an unbeaten Wales side to keep their hopes of progressing out of the group stage alive.

Mitchell – a 71 Test veteran – admitted that while “Fiji played really well” Australia “f**king shouldn’t have lost to Fiji” before launching into a tirade on Jones and his contentious selections.

“The thing on those selections though Eddie sits and goes ‘yeah it’s my fault I take full responsibility’ what the f**k does that mean though? Like he doesn’t get dropped this week he’s not not coaching next week,” he told The Good, The Bad and the Rugby Australia podcast.

“It’s just like an empty f**king line at a in a press conference ‘yeah I take full responsibility’ like what does that equate to like nothing.

“You’ve made some glaring decisions around Quade (Cooper) around Michael Hooper. Captaincy there’s six captains and seven weeks like f**king explain some of these decisions to us because as fans we’re all sitting here scratching our heads.”

Jones took over the Wallabies coaching job earlier this year but has only won one from seven matches coming under serious pressure for some of his controversial selections at the World Cup.

Former captain and arguably the best Wallaby over the past decade, Hooper was left out while the decision to take 22-year-old Carter Gordon as the only specialist fly-half and leave veteran Cooper behind were among the most contentious decisions.

After two games at the World Cup the Wallabies are facing the likely possibility of being knocked out in the group stage for the first time and a furious Mitchell demanded Jones explain the selection headscratchers.

“A lot of the time we can sit there and defend Eddie or the wallabies because we can understand logic in some of these decisions but there’s none of it and he and he’s not actually given any explanation as to why Quade’s not there, why is Michael Hooper not there?” Mitchell said.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones made some major selection calls for the Rugby World Cup. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones made some major selection calls for the Rugby World Cup. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

“He said because Michael Hooper’s injured (but) we’ve taken Pone Fa’amausili, you’ve taken Max Jorgensen and these other guys that are injured so like that’s a redundant point.

“Why the f**k have you not selected Michael Hooper, Quade Cooper? Like to come out and actually tell us as fans why have you not picked these guys because now we’re seeing the result of you not picking some of these guys.”

The leading try scorer for Australia at World Cups also took aim at Jones’ training methods which have seen a number of players miss games with injury.

Captain Will Skelton (calf) and Taniela Tupou (hamstring) both missed the match against Fiji while on Wednesday Jorgenson suffered a broken leg during a training session.

“From all reports and also from the evidence of two players having soft tissue injuries, he’s just overtrained them through the week,” Mitchell said.

“How can you have a hamstring and a calf leading into the biggest game in our World Cup? There’s definitely an element of overtraining for sure if you’re getting soft tissue injuries.

“I think that’s an indication he (Jones) was feeling the pressure and overworked the guys and as a result two of our best players – bigger players – probably got through too much workload that they probably couldn’t get through. It just shouldn’t happen.”

Mitchell later apologised for his emotion when a clip was posted on social media.

“Perhaps I should’ve had some more sleep.. Apologies for my swearing.. A tad emotional. Just want to see the boys do well.. All that being said, I still believe in our men this weekend against Wales!!” he wrote.

Fijian coach Simon Raiwalui responded to the video calling Mitchell’s comments “a little condescending” yet several Australian fans quickly supported the former winger.

“Honestly, agree with Drew here. Wallabies fans have a right to be outraged and it is largely a result of administrative mismanagement in the shambolic organisation we know as Rugby Australia,” one wrote.

“Eddie’s nonsense chat of we’re building a side to win in the future drives me up the wall. You’re in a World Cup. Pick a team that will win now. Once the World Cup is over you build for 2027. Not before the existing World Cup,” another added.

The Wallabies will play Wales on Monday morning and a loss would guarantee a group stage exit but a victory would leave Australia’s progression in the hands of bonus points and point differential.


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