Australia coach Jones 'confident' for Rugby World Cup despite France defeat

Mon, Aug 28, 2023, 12:29 AM
by AFP
Eddie Jones is keeping the faith. Photo: Getty Images
Eddie Jones is keeping the faith. Photo: Getty Images

Australia head coach Eddie Jones said on Sunday he remained "confident" of his side's chances at the Rugby World Cup despite suffering a heavy 41-17 loss to France, a fifth straight defeat since he took over.

The Wallabies, two-time World Cup winners, start their tournament against Georgia on September 8 but have yet to win since Jones took over at the start of the year.

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"Within the camp we have a fair bit of confidence," Jones told reporters.

"We'd like to have a better win/loss record."

"We're trying to play a different way and the results haven't been good enough but we do have a long term plan for the World Cup and that's what we're here for," he added.

In the French capital young fly-half Carter Gordon had a difficult game from the tee, wasting 10 points on his fifth Test appearance.

The 22-year-old was one of 12 players in Australia's matchday squad with 10 caps or fewer.

"It's 100% a concern. But all we can do is work with the young kid," Jones said. 

"We've got young kids in this team and we're backing them, and he'll get better."

One positive for the colourful 63-year-old was winger Suliasi Vunivali's try-scoring performance.

"I was thinking about a number of players that are improving and Suli's one," Jones said. 

"He scored one good try, could have scored a couple more. He looked like he was ready to play at the highest level."

Jones returned for a second stint as Australia coach after being sacked by England late last year.

On Saturday, his former side were beaten for the first time by Fiji, who the Wallabies face on September 17 in a potentially crucial World Cup group game.

"It was fantastic," Jones said. "It adds even more flavour to the competition. 

"This could be the World Cup that no-one will ever forget."