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Staying ahead of the Joneses

So, it has been confirmed that Eddie Jones will be going to the World Cup with the Boks as a technical adviser. And for the most part, the mood seems quite upbeat about this appointment.

How things have changed. Not so long ago, we South Africans loved to hate him for his outspokenness. Or was it his moaning? He always seemed to be sniping: at the ref, other teams, almost everything. Good old Eddie Moans.

Now, however, we feel some sense of kinship with the man — we are, after all, embarking on a World cup campaign together.

He is well regarded as an astute tactician and coach (if you blank from memory the awful Super 14 hiccup with the Reds and the dismal losing streak of the Aussies just prior to his demise as national coach) and has a shrewd knowledge of the game.

Although some may find it strange to have a former Aussie coach on board, if he adds any value to our cause, good, I say. At the very least, he has really managed to put a few Aussie backs out, which should count for something.

Jones’s teams have often played good attacking rugby, and the Boks have been criticised in recent years for not scoring enough tries from set play. This is surely an area where we should take whatever help we can get. Who knows, we may also be able to use the dubious decoy running that the Aussies employ so effectively.

Hey, and maybe Eddie can also shed light on how the Aussies get away with that dodgy scrumming technique.

The appointment of Jones also comes on the back of reports of infighting in the Aussie coaching set-up. All is not well in the land of Bundaberg Rum, Blunnies and Holdens, it seems.

But, we all know what the Aussies will say if the Boks win the Cup — we did it with Aussie help.

You know what? I can happily live with that if the Cup comes this way.

Author

  • Keith Nicholls

    Keith is a journalist at the Mail & Guardian Online and is, among other things, appreciative of sport