‘What am I doing’: Panthers legend slams incoming Wallabies coach’s pursuit of NRL stars

Rugby league legend Mark Geyer has slammed incoming Wallabies coach Eddie Jones’ pursuit of NRL expertise, claiming the transfer discourages budding rugby union stars.

Jones signed a $4.5 million cope with Rugby Australia and has been tasked with sparking a Wallabies revival after Dave Rennie was sacked on Monday morning.

Jones’ tenure formally begins on January 29 and the 62-year-old has eight months to organize for the 2023 World Cup in France earlier than the 2027 event in Australia, saying his plan to poach NRL expertise.

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“There’s three [NRL players] that come to mind,” Jones stated to the SMH.

“All were Australian Schoolboys and have done well in the NRL. I’m sure the allure of playing in a home Rugby World Cup might be something to attract them back.”

Geyer, who performed three Tests for Australia, believes the Wallabies coach saying he needs to recruit NRL gamers will solely weaken Rugby Australia’s expertise pool.

“Eddie Jones is back, he’s back in Australia as the Wallabies coach and probably the best man for the job,” Geyer stated on Triple M.

“What he said since coming back into the job for no more than five minutes has got me worried if I was a young rugby union player.

“I want to identify four NRL players, and bring them across, and they are Suaalii, Penisini, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and then the young Manly player (Tolu Koula).

“If I am a young rugby union player listening to that, I’d be saying ‘what the hell am I doing, why am I busting my bum to try and play the code that I love’.

“Look, I am not going to kick a sport while it’s down, because it is down at the moment rugby union, it really is, and I thought Eddie Jones would come back and really make a statement and say ‘you know what, we are really going to look at our grassroots, we are going to build it up’.”


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Players making the cross-code swap is a daily prevalence and most lately Dally M winner Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and former Storm flyer Suliasi Vunivalu have moved to the 15-man sport.

However, experiences have surfaced that each gamers have been on the lookout for a return to the NRL.

Vunivalu’s future is locked in till the tip of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, however Tuivasa-Scheck is reportedly sad after his first season with the Auckland Blues, regardless of incomes a call-up for the All Blacks.

“We saw recently Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Suliasi Vunivalu both go across to rugby for massive, massive money, and guess what, they want to come back,” Geyer stated.

“The sport hasn’t grown with the times, everyone is time poor these days, when you have a code that is three points for a field goal, three points for a penalty goal, when you are taking shots from halfway, instead of action.

“They have got to change the rules, rugby union has got to change the rules, they have got to go for two points for a field goal and two for a penalty goal at least.”

Source web site: www.foxsports.com.au

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