Former All Black and NRL star Sonny Bill Williams has lashed Eddie Jones over reports he interviewed for a Japanese coaching position ahead of a shambolic World Cup that saw the Wallabies bounced out of the tournament in the pool stage.
Fresh off watching the Aussies get pumped to the tune of 40-6 overnight [AEST] by Wales, Williams lined up Jones saying his actions resulted in the Wallabies not playing for him.
That was Australia’s worst ever defeat at a World Cup and means the Wallabies will miss the quarter finals for the first time in history.
It has been reported that Jones held a job interview with Japanese officials two weeks before the World Cup kicked off despite having a Rugby Australia contract that ends in 2027.
He was roundly booed by rugby fans every time he appeared on the big screen at Parc Olympique Lyonnais and Williams was quick to lay the blame for the catastrophic World Cup failure at his feet.
Jones has plenty of detractors after his second coming as Wallabies coach after Australia crashed out of the Rugby World Cup in the group stage for the first time in history
The Wallabies were forced to blood a host of young players like Ben Donaldson (pictured)
Williams played for the New Zealand All Blacks and in the Australian NRL competition and said he would not follow Jones into battle as a player
‘As a player, if a coach shows his characteristics and does things like that, I’m not going to follow him into battle,’ Williams said on Stan Sport.
‘I’ve got to be prepared to die for a coach, and go out there and give my heart and soul.
‘If someone is doing that – and the narrative that he’s saying is about the jersey, about the next four years – that’s how I feel.’
The World Cup-winning All Black was not finished there.
He accused Jones of playing mind games with the players and said their body language showed there was no inspiration coming from behind closed doors in the sheds.
‘That second half team, that looked like a team that just lost belief, and that starts from the head (coach) in the sheds, the guy that’s telling them to get up,’ Williams said.
Wales was too skilled, strong and experienced for the young Wallabies who slumped to their worst ever World Cup defeat in France
‘They came out here and didn’t really perform at all, it’s really disappointing,’ Williams continued.
‘I feel for these boys, I feel for the fans.
‘I’m going to keep it real here, they were up against it from the start.
‘Where we are right now, questions need to be asked, from selections to the mind games Eddie’s been playing with these kids, these young men.
‘The proof is in the pudding, 40-6 is really embarrassing, and I feel for these kids, they’re going to carry this on for the rest of their careers and feel this.’
Williams also doubled down on his criticism of Jones not picking veterans Quade Cooper and Michael Hooper for the World Cup, re-tweeting his original message with a fresh message for the Aussies.
‘Feel for the Aussie boys and the Aussie fans, the team has been up against it from the start. Let’s hope some serious changes are made from the top down, because this is too strong of a rugby nation to be in a position like this,’ he posted.
Williams lashed Jones for his decisions at the selection table, saying experienced campaigners Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper should have been in the squad
A defiant Jones returned serve by affirming his commitment to the Wallabies cause while taking responsibility for the woeful World Cup return.
‘I remain committed to the Australia project. I still believe I am the person to turn things around,’ Jones said.
‘I was put in this job to turn Australia around and I don’t think I could have done it with the players we had.
‘This is the most painful time but also the best time to learn for young players.’
‘I take umbrage to people questioning my commitment to the Australia job.’
The veteran coach added: ‘My coaching hasn’t been good enough.
‘I don’t need to worry about the future; just the Portuguese game.
‘I have a contract, and at the end of the World Cup my performance will be reviewed, and at the minute it’s not good enough.
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