Reaching for the Top: The Only Way is Up

As Season 2023 nears an end and we bid farewell to Eddie Jones, we can only look to the future with hope. We had high expectations for the coach who came with much fanfare, but his zero percent win record against our rivals and his departure has left us at a low point. It’s clear that the fans have lost faith in the board’s decision-making, and there is doubt about their ability to make the right choice for the next coach. I urge fans to voice their opinions in the hopes of being heard.

I have outlined the key roles for the Wallabies’ future. I don’t believe we currently have a homegrown coach ready to take on the top job. However, there is potential in younger coaches like Dan McKellar and Dan Palmer. I am excited to see them gain more experience abroad and eventually take on top coaching positions. I also did not consider Laurie Fisher, as he has just taken a job with Australia’s under 20s.

For the role of head coach, I believe Ronan O’Gara would be a good fit. He has had great success with La Rochelle, building a strong team and promoting an attacking style of play. Darren Coleman would make a great general manager, as he shares O’Gara’s team-focused approach. Wayne Barnes, a recently retired referee, would bring valuable experience to the squad. I also suggest bringing in SR coaches for the other positions, following the All Blacks model.

Stephen Larkham and Matt Giteau would be ideal attack coaches, bringing their vast experience to the role. Les Kiss, a former defence coach for the Springboks and the Waratahs, would be a valuable addition to the coaching staff. Geoff Parling, Brad Thorn, and Dave Alred would also be great additions to the coaching team, bringing their expertise in lineouts, scrums, and kicking skills, respectively. As for the role of RA Chairman, John Eales would be a highly respected and valuable addition.

In terms of the team, there are some areas that need improvement. Our backrow needs balance, and I believe Harry Wilson, Rob Valetini, and Fraser McReight could play important roles. Izzy Perese should be given more opportunities, as he has the potential to be a strong offensive player. Max Jorgensen could be a good fit at the 15 position, while Jordan Petaia needs to work on decision making. Carter Gordon and Tate McDermott need to continue developing their skills, and Scott Sio has been playing well as a replacement prop.