VIDEO: Eddie Jones hits back at Sonny Bill's comments
REACTION: Wallaby head coach Eddie Jones stood his ground after he was criticised for the lack of experienced playmakers in his squad.
The Wallabies fell to a 15-22 defeat to Fiji in their second Pool C game on Sunday with young flyhalf Carter Gordon one of the many players failing to stamp their authority on the game.
The 22-year-old Gordon was the preferred flyhalf selection ahead of experienced playmakers Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley when Jones announced his squad ahead of the World Cup.
After the game, Former All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams shared his thoughts on the lack of experience in the Wallaby squad to help Gordon, who was replaced before the end of the game.
“My take on this whole ordeal of a game is, I feel for Carter Gordon right now,” Williams told Stan Sport. “Because he doesn’t have a Quade Cooper or [Bernard] Foley to go back to the hotel and say ‘bro, these things happen but you know you will be better.’
“It’s really tough seeing him get pulled like that.
“Sometimes you live and die by your decisions and Eddie Jones got found out tonight [Sunday] unfortunately.”
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Williams’ comments were brought up during the Wallabies’ post-match press conference and Jones had a response for the All Black legend.
“When you are a television commentator, you are always right,” said Jones.
“Maybe I need to become a television commentator then I will be right all the time.”
He added: “We’ve gone with a young team but I’ve got no regrets at all.
“We are building a team for the future and we are going to go through some pain.
“I made the decision to go for a younger team and if that’s the wrong decision then I will be held accountable for that but I think Australian rugby needs to move on to a younger team.
“I am prepared to go through some pain to leave Australia with a team capable of doing really well in a World Cup and that’s not to say we can’t do it; we’ve had a bit of a setback today [Sunday] but that’s all part of being in a World Cup.
“I do remember South Africa lost a game and won a World Cup, so funny things have happened.”
The Wallabies’ hopes hang on defeating Pool C leaders Wales in Lyon on Sunday with bonus points and points differential from the two remaining rounds likely to come into play.
Jones gave no hints about what line-up changes he might make for the unbeaten Welsh, although he said both Will Skelton (calf) and Taniela Tupou (hamstring) would not play.
As well as their first World Cup loss to Fiji, Australia hadn’t been beaten by the Pacific Islanders in 69 years and Jones said it “hurt” to see such a record broken on his watch.
“It definitely hurts me personally, 100 percent, and as I said, I’m 100 percent responsible for it,” he said.
“We had a bad day, which can happen, and we’ve got to be better next week so that’s my responsibility too.”
Additional sources: Stan Sport & AAP