Rugby World Cup 2023 – Day 18 highlights
Will Skelton felt compelled to correct Eddie Jones after the Australia boss attempted to take the blame for injuries in their camp during the Rugby World Cup. The Wallabies are relying on a Portugal miracle to reach the knockout stage of the tournament, with Jones left ruing two injuries.
Australia need Portugal to overcome Fiji on Sunday, with that outcome highly unlikely. Jones’s side have suffered an underwhelming tournament and were all-but knocked out after a disappointing defeat by Wales.
The former England head coach lost Skelton and Taniela Tupou to injury during the tournament, putting them at a disadvantage against the Welsh. And while Jones was keen to not make excuses, he accepted the blame for the issues and suggested he got his training routines wrong.
“The biggest loss we had in this tournament was losing Taniela and Will in one session and I blame myself for that,” Jones told repoters at Australia’s team camp.
READ MORE: Eddie Jones corrected by own player as England take ‘backward step'[LIVE]
“Just didn’t get it right, the session. You never know with injuries, you never really know. But could we have done that a little bit differently? I keep thinking about that.
“To minimise the risk of damage, there’s just an order of training, and the way you train. I hold my hands up.”
However, Skelton was unhappy with his boss taking the blame and felt the need to shoulder some responsibility himself. He interrupted Jones to point out that his injury could have been the result of many things.
“You can look at anything, if I had a half an hour more sleep, if I had drunk a litre more water. I think for those things, I’m in control,” the 31-year-old lock said.
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“Things happen and that’s rugby, injuries happen during the week and in games. I (might) have got injured on the weekend against Fiji. It’s unfortunate and I guess we’ve got to move on.”
Jones insisted that he was not making excuses for a poor tournament. He feels that Australia should have had enough quality to beat Wales without Skelton and Tupou.
“We’ve got to be good enough to cope with it. They’re the challenges of being a good team, the world’s best teams get on with it. And we’re not quite there yet. And that’s the challenge. The challenge was to fill that gap to be able to cope with those situations.”
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