The Wallabies: Bring back Alan Jones

Tim Whelan tackles possible solutions to the Wallabies’ failing fortunes.


They like to accuse Generation Y of entitlement. Guilty. I enjoy government handouts, marginally smaller phones every six months, writing about my sexual frustrations to mX, and starting insurrections to ‘bring back the old Facebook’ for two weeks after every revamp.

In atonement, I have come to expect nothing from our beloved Wallabies. Well, no, that’s not technically correct: there’s a reliable parade of knock-ons, handling errors, breakdown hands, turnstile tackles and Hail Mary passes that would clear Golgotha. If James O’Connor has a blood alcohol level below his BMI, it’s a slow news day. If the constant battlecry for new coaching saviours by the armchair whinge-brigade has died down, it’s because it’s now common knowledge that Robbie Deans was a dual passport holder with both New Zealand and Manchuria. We are a nation in flux.

Until then, I have a few suggestions to sate the great unwashed’s hunger for some change, any change, for the next five minutes.

1. Bring back collars on jerseys

Historians will note that we haven’t won a single World Cup or Bledisloe since we swapped our national jersey for a piss-coloured EPL replica. To the sports scientists who defend this top as having less air resistance and being harder to grab, I ask of you: Were David Campese or Joe Roff ever cost a try because of the strip of fabric around their necks? When Richie McCaw was rearranging Quade Cooper’s internal organs three weeks ago, did he do so with a Mean Girls-style shrieking and clawing of fabric?  Does James O’Connor have a troubling lack of chest hair to hide?

2. Have a national unsportsmanlike tactic

The ACT Brumbies, last year, were hapless. The Brumbies this year owe a great deal of their success to South African coach Jake White, who has instilled a highly effective culture of kneeing people’s heads and coming in from barely-legal angles in the ruck. They made the Super 15 grand final as a result. The problem is that these ideas are imported and may well disappear on White’s departure when some idealistic local replaces him.

The current Australian signature move is to attempt to cheat at scrums, and lose. Which brings me to my next point.

3. Reinstate Alan Jones as coach

Yes, that Alan Jones. This suggestion will not be received well. Some context: our scrum has been repeatedly and shamelessly collapsed into a human centipede for well over a decade, and has cost the lucky country a good four games this year. The inconvenient truth is that the Australian scrum was at its technical and physical peak under his tutelage. It also goes without saying he also has a sterling record of indoctrinating the mentally dense.
And who knows, our underperforming players might die of shame.

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