All Blacks legend Dan Carter was surprised Rugby Australia sacked Dave Rennie in a World Cup year, but is confident Eddie Jones has enough time to get the Wallabies ready for the showpiece event.
The Wallabies parted ways with Rennie just seven months out from the World Cup in France to bring back Jones, who led Australia to the 2003 final on home soil where they were beaten by England.
Carter knows what it’s like to face a Jones-led side at a World Cup, having lost to Australia in the semis that year, and is expecting the sixth-ranked Aussies to lift by the time this year’s tournament rolls around.
The former All Blacks sharpshooter pointed to other big teams like Wales and England – who replaced Wayne Pivac and Jones in recent months – and said they too will be at their best when the World Cup starts.
“I think wherever he goes, he has immediate impact. I’m not sure if that’s down to his personality or his coaching style, but he does create an immediate response,” Carter told NCA NewsWire.
“Eddie has that World Cup experience.
“World Cup rugby is very different to any other Test matches you play. The fact that you’re in camp for two months and then have to win seven matches to win it all means you’re together week in week out, which is something that never happens during the regular calendar.
“To draw on players or coaches who have been to World Cups before is invaluable, so I’m sure Eddie will add a lot to the Wallabies’ team.
“You know that with or without Eddie, the Wallabies are always going to be there or thereabouts in a World Cup.
“There’s this competitiveness in all Australians where they won’t lie down. You know that later in the year the Wallabies will be a real challenge at the World Cup.”
Carter also backed Rennie to bounce back from the sacking and said it was only a matter of time until he landed a gig at a club or even an international side given his strong coaching CV.
“I was a bit surprised because I know Dave Rennie is a world-class coach. He may not have had the results recently, but he has a lot of respect from the players he was coaching, which is really important,” he said.
“He’ll land on his feet. The team that’s lucky enough to have a coach with his experience and credentials will be very lucky. He’s shown his class over a long period of time so I know he won’t be lost to rugby.”