‘Wallabies’ World Cup preparations were severely lacking in any coherent plan,’ criticizes Quade Cooper.

Quade Cooper, former Wallabies fly-half, claimed that Australia’s lack of competent support staff under Eddie Jones resulted in the team’s failure to establish proper systems for the Rugby World Cup earlier this year.

Cooper, along with long-time captain Michael Hooper and experienced fly-half Bernard Foley, was not included in the tournament squad. Consequently, the two-time champions were eliminated in the pool stage for the first time.

Although Cooper had been part of the Wallabies’ training camp throughout the year, he noted that the level of preparation was incomparable to the detailed plans implemented by Dave Rennie, Jones’s predecessor who was dismissed in January.

“One of the challenges I faced in the months leading up to the World Cup was the absence of a clear plan,” expressed Cooper in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. “While we had discussions and conversations about the game, going into a match without a solid plan, structure, or system made it incredibly difficult as a playmaker. Everyone was constantly questioning each other and the situation became quite tough.”

Cooper also criticized the selection of some assistant coaches, citing their lack of expertise.

“Eddie’s team was missing key individuals with significant expertise,” Cooper added. “As players, we attempted to embrace his methods since not doing so would have portrayed us as detrimental. However, common sense was hard to overlook, and it was astonishing that Rugby Australia failed to recognize it. For instance, Jason Ryles, a rugby league prop, served as an attack coach during the World Cup. How much did he truly understand about rugby attack?”

Cooper admitted his disappointment at being excluded from the World Cup squad and expressed dissatisfaction with Jones’s subsequent comments suggesting that he, along with Hooper and Foley, were no longer suitable role models for younger players.

“What bothered me about that statement was that he doubted my desire to win,” emphasized the 79-cap playmaker. “My philosophy is about constantly striving to be the best. It’s about establishing solid habits and foundations. That’s a winning mindset. Blaming others instead of taking responsibility is not a winning mindset.”

In October, Jones resigned from his position as Australia’s coach, less than a year into a five-year contract, after securing only two victories in nine tests. He has recently been re-appointed as the coach of Japan.

“Coaches expect a lot from players,” Cooper said. “I attended meetings where coaches requested loyalty to the country. It’s frustrating to witness certain events unfold over the past few months. Players only have one chance to represent Australia. I can’t suddenly switch allegiances tomorrow if I wished to.”

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