- Australia didn’t reach quarter finals for first time
- Coach Eddie Jones has worn most of the blame
- His assistant said Super Rugby needs to improve
Wallabies assistant coach Pierre-Henry Broncan has put the blame for Australia’s disastrous World Cup campaign not on coach Eddie Jones but the Super Rugby competition, declaring the lack of world class competition had left players exposed at Test level.
Broncan, a Frenchman, said the departure of South African teams – and those from Japan and Argentina – from Super Rugby post Covid had a direct impact on the fortunes of the Wallabies.
Having seen the pressure applied in top European competitions for teams fighting for survival, he said Australian players playing against each other and New Zealanders was a poor breeding ground for international players.
‘A big difference between the Top 14 and European Cup and your Super Rugby competition in Australia, with New Zealand, is the pressure,’ Broncan told reporters.
‘In France, we have pressure every game because there are massive things about relegation or qualification. It’s very important for the French and European teams.
Australia fielded a young and inexperienced side at the Rugby World Cup in France and paid the price
Wallabies assistant coach Pierre-Henry Broncan says the French domestic competition is much stronger than the Australian one
Coach Eddie Jones has worn most of the blame for the Wallabies crashing out of the Rugby World Cup in the pool stage
‘In Super Rugby there is no relegation, there is just to play to win the Super Rugby. It’s a good thing … but just against New Zealand and Australian teams.
‘You will see the next games during the World Cup quarter-finals, semi-finals, final, there will be a massive pressure on the pitch. A lot of games will finish with a very close score between the two teams and the last five or 10 minutes you can win or lose a game. But today for our team it is not that.
‘During the halftime against Wales I was sure we are going to win the game. Ten points is nothing, but we start the second half and we concede a penalty and 13 points and it was finished. We need to change that in the future.’
Since the start of 2022, Australia has played in 10 Tests where the margin has been five points or less, losing seven.
Wallabies players like former half Nic White of the Brumbies have been forced to play in a weaker competition which has impacted the Australian team
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) left Super Rugby in 2020, with teams like the Cats – pictured playing against the Waratahs – moving to the Northern Hemisphere
Broncan said after the Brumbies, who supplied six Wallabies for the team against Wales, the rest of the Australian teams were below the standard necessary to produce players capable of thriving in Test rugby.
‘Brumbies is a good way for the team because they have a team that is very tough and they can beat New Zealand sides today. The other teams in Australia it was very tough and difficult to win (against) the New Zealand teams. It is a rarity and we need to change that firstly,’ said.
‘When you had Super Rugby with the South African teams, it was a tough competition, very tough competition. Today’s South African teams, they play in Europe and it was a benefit for the northern hemisphere.’
Amid ongoing speculation about the future of Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, who has denied links to Japan, Broncan was confident Jones wouldn’t be leaving the Australian team.
‘Yes, of course. I am sure about it because he’s a great coach. I understand everything about it and I think in his head he wants now to find the best solution for the Australia national team and his country. He is the right person.
‘It is not just a problem of Eddie Jones or the players today, I am sure about it.’