Eddie Jones launches bizarre rant ahead of World Cup opener

Eddie Jones launches bizarre rant claiming World Rugby has ‘got listening devices everywhere’ and is ‘always in the shadows’ before Wallabies coach lashes out at referee for World Cup Opener

  • Eddie Jones want to see a free-flowing World Cup in France
  • English referee Luke Pearce was in Jones’ sights
  • Australia play Georgia from 2am AEST on Sunday 
  • Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results

Eddie Jones is renowned for his mind games – and the Wallabies coach was at his animated best during a press conference ahead of Australia’s World Cup opener against Georgia.

Jones, 63, joked that ‘World Rugby was in the room’, have ‘listening devices everywhere’ and are ‘always in the shadows’.

He also stressed it was important that teams at the World Cup ‘don’t have a black mark against their name’ with game-day officials.

It comes as English referee Luke Pearce was confirmed as the man in the middle for Australia’s Pool C clash on Sunday (2am, AEST) against the Eastern Europeans.

Pearce officiated the Wallabies’ last start 41-17 defeat against France – and got under Jones’ skin after he sin-binned winger Suliasi Vunivalu for an infringement many felt was a harsh call.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones wants the referees to let games flow at the World Cup

England’s Luke Pearce will referee Australia’s World Cup opener against Georgia

In a selection surprise, Eddie Jones named Ben Donaldson as his fullback ahead of Andrew Kellaway

Jones later declared he wants his team to be one that fans admire and respect.

‘This group of young men have the opportunity to do that,’ he said.

‘For such a young team, the way they’ve conducted themselves during the preparation of the World Cup has been absolutely first class.

‘We also want to be that team everyone in Australia can’t wait to see play.

‘It’s not about me, it’s about what our players can do. All I’m trying to do is give them the opportunity to fulfil their dreams.’

In a selection surprise, Jones named Ben Donaldson to start at fullback ahead of Andrew Kellaway.

Donaldson, 24, is usually a fly-half, but his goal-kicking prowess will see him in the no.15 jersey for the first time at Test level. 

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