'We'd be happy to play them tomorrow': Jones, Wallabies hungry for Wales redemption

Mon, Sep 18, 2023, 1:42 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Eddie Jones wants to avenge the Fiji loss against Wales. Photo: Getty Images
Eddie Jones wants to avenge the Fiji loss against Wales. Photo: Getty Images

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones is eager to put the loss to Fiji behind them as they turn their attention towards Wales.

Jones fronted the media on Monday evening (AEST) after waking up 'hoping the result was different' after a seven-point defeat, the first time they have lost to Fiji in almost 70 years.

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"I have had enough time to look at it...It reinforced initial impressions that we got knocked off our kilter the first 30 minutes of the game and were never really able to recover until the last 30," he said.

"I thought our young finishing bench did really well and put us in a position to win the game and we weren't quite good enough."

Jones understands the magnitude of the challenge facing the side, needing to win to avoid elimination in the group stages for the first time in World Cup history.

"This is one of the biggest challenges for this team and personally for the coaching staff. We know how we want to play against Wales and we are going to work really hard to get the players back on track," he said.

"When you have a loss like this it knocks you around a bit. It knocks you emotionally and team ethics wise. You start seeing shadows in every corner of the room.

"There is noise from outside which you have to handle. That's the challenge for the coaching staff this week, to make sure they have got the right noise."

Jones was refusing to dwell on the defeat, already preparing for a Welsh side full of confidence after two straight wins to start the World Cup.

"The only thing we are worried about is Wales this week," he added.

"We'd be happy to play them tomorrow if they wanted to play. We'd get the television organised.

"We can't wait for the challenge."

Hooker Jordan Uelese will join Will Skelton (calf) and Taniela Tupou (hamstring) after he was concussed during the defeat.

Scrumhalf Tate McDermott will likely return to captain the side after completing his recovery from his own head knock.

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