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24 Oct 2007 07:04
Former Australia coach Alan Jones would be prepared to return to his old post if he is asked to take over from the outgoing John Connolly.
Queensland Rugby Union chairperson Peter Lewis suggested on Tuesday that Jones, now the host of Sydney’s highest-rating radio show, would be the ideal person to coach the Wallabies.
Jones, who said he was not actively seeking the Australian coaching role, did not rule out accepting the job if offered.
“Anyone who believes in rugby, who believes in the game and wants the game to do well—if they were prevailed upon and asked to assist, if they were fair dinkum [genuine] they’d most probably have to,” he said.
“So I suppose if I was honest, if it was thought by somebody that I might be able to contribute to the revitalisation of the game, then I’d be obligated to put my hand up.”
Lewis said Jones’s appointment would breathe new life into rugby’s current coaching philosophy which he believes is “killing the game”.
“He would be ideal. He would bring a completely fresh approach, a whole new energy,” Lewis told reporters.
“There is a sameness about all of the [Wallabies coaching] candidates and we really need to do something radical and that’s where Alan comes in.”
Ewen McKenzie, Laurie Fisher, John Muggleton, Scott Johnson, David Nucifora and Robbie Deans are all candidates to succeed Connolly, with an appointment expected by the end of November.
Jones has been a fierce critic of the modern game and has attacked the number of coaching and support staff each team has.
“There are real problems for Australian rugby in complicating the way in which we deal with players and the way in which we present them on the paddock and coach them,” Jones said on his radio show.
“Certainly the results could be infinitely better in terms of how we play and what we get on the scoreboard, so whether or not that leads to anything I haven’t got a clue.”
The Wallabies won 23 of 30 Tests while Jones was in charge and reached the semifinals of the 1987 World Cup, where they lost to France in what is considered one of the greatest games to date.
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