RA boss McLennan: Eddie Jones man for Wallabies 'no matter what'

Eddie blows up at 'negative' media: You're part of the problem (2:22)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has slammed the media as his side flies out for the World Cup, taking aim at their pessimism about the squad's chances in France. (2:22)

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has reaffirmed his support for "brilliant" Eddie Jones, declaring the 63-year-old will coach the Wallabies as "long as he wants the job" through to the expiry of his contract at the end of 2027.

As the countdown to Rugby World Cup 2023 enters its final three weeks, Jones and the Wallabies flew out for France from Sydney Airport on Thursday, where Jones launched into an extraordinary tirade against the local rugby media, who he believes reports nothing but "negativity".

"I know what's wrong with Australian rugby and you blokes [media] are a part of the problem because you're so bloody negative about everything," an exasperated Jones said.

"Okay, so we're going off to a World Cup you think we can't win; you think the selection process is bad because the players complained, so I apologise for that. So we'll go out there and do our best, boys, so if you haven't got anything positive to say, don't ask please."

Whether the outburst was an indication of the pressure Jones was feeling following an 0-4 start to his second coming as Wallabies boss, or even a tactic to distract from the fact his attack coach Brad Davis had resigned just weeks out from the World Cup, his rant made headlines around the rugby world in a week where the Owen Farrell red card has dominated the game's news agenda.

Just what Jones was up to, only the man himself will know, but it appears he heads to the World Cup with a virtual free pass. Speaking to ESPN at the Wallabies' farewell event in Sydney on Wednesday afternoon, McLennan made it clear Jones was under no pressure to keep his job beyond the game's global showpiece.

"Yeah, for as long as he wants to be there," McLennan told ESPN when asked whether Jones was the man to coach the Wallabies going forward, no matter what transpired in France.

"I'm really happy. He's amazing. We signed a five-year deal with him and if he wants to leave early that's up to him, but we're really happy with what he's doing. He's brilliant. He came back from Darwin and he was down at Randwick coaching people the other day. He's everywhere, and so he really cares.

"He's an excellent coach, he's one of the world's best coaches. He's got three teams into the final of the World Cup, a 73%-win rate with England, anyone who goes against Eddie is foolish."

While the Wallabies find themselves on the far weaker side of the World Cup draw, their winless run under Jones will have invigorated Pool C rivals Wales and Fiji, while even Georgia - who have wins over Italy and Wales in the past two years - are now also considered genuine opposition for Australia.

Still, the semifinals have been declared as a "pass mark" for the Wallabies by RA chief executive Phil Waugh, and McLennan said such a result, or better, was important to continue the game's steady regeneration in Australia.

"It provides a positive halo, and you want young kids like the ones who are here today [at the Wallabies farewell event], to think that they can be a Wallaby or a Wallaroo when they grow up," McLennan told ESPN.

"And we want to do well and we're Australians and we want to win, and the public deserves for us to perform well. We've got to prove it to them, and we've got to get their trust back, and everyone's working night and day to make it happen."

While only a small crowd of around 500 gathered in Sydney to farewell the Wallabies at Drummoyne Oval - the event was staged just hours before the Matildas' World Cup semifinal with England - McLennan pointed to the huge crowd that attended Bledisloe I as evidence Australians still held a candle for the national rugby team.

"Don't forget we got 84,000 people down in Melbourne [for Bledisloe I], so a non-rugby state 84,000 people turned up for a Test, and they are a resilient bunch," McLennan told ESPN. "So I was joking with friends and colleagues, imagine what we can do when they start winning.

"And they will, like you look at the first half against the All Blacks in Dunedin, the way Eddie is rewiring the team and getting them to play differently. And we were all over them, we should have won that game. And that's the most frustrating thing, but our guys will just break through.

"And Eddie has said it time and time again, at some point something will happen and the guys will come good."