Former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones says an extra Australian team should not have been added to the Super rugby competition.
Rugby 365 reports that the Melbourne Rebels join Super Rugby as the new franchise when the Super 14 is extended to a Super 15 next year.
But AAP reports that Jones, who was head coach of the Brumbies when they won the Super 12 in 2001 and also coached the Reds in the Super 14, said the Rebels should not have been added to the competition.
“The addition of another Australian franchise is not good for Australian rugby nor for the competition,” Jones said.
“The reason they’re in is because of TV rights. The current 14-team competition is just starting to find its feet and this year is the most competitive it has been for a while, with eight or nine teams in contention.”
The man who guided Australia to the 2003 World Cup final and then won a World Cup winners’ medal as techincal advisor to the Springboks in 2007, said the four existing Australian franchises had already been stretched to produce quality players.
“Another Australian side is just going to weaken the third and fourth teams,” he said. “If you consider South Africa, they have a great number of players but can still only support four very good Super 14 sides.
“It’s unrealistic for Australia to have five teams and it will be bad for Wallaby rugby in the short term, for the next 10 to 15 years,” added Jones.
According to AAP Jones said the Rebels would struggle due to a lack of top players.
“They haven’t exactly signed a whole lot of quality players. There are only two areas in Australia that produce rugby union players – New South Wales and Queensland – and if you are a youngster from there and you have a choice between Melbourne or Perth to live in, it’s a no-brainer where you’ll go.
“So the Western Force (based in Perth) are the side that will really be affected and they’re weak enough as it is. They spent huge amounts of money on players like Matt Giteau and Nathan Sharpe and now what?” Jones said.
Sharksworld Note: It turns out that the interview from which the quotes above have been taken were in an exclusive interview that Eddie Jones gave to Ken Borland / Reuters. Sharksworld would like to apologise to and give credit to Mr. Borland / Reutersfor doing the original interview and thank him for bringing it to our attention.Tweet