ARLC chairman Peter V’landys has taken a dig at newly-appointed Wallabies coach Eddie Jones’ who made his intentions to recruit a host of NRL stars clear on Wednesday.
Jones signed a $4.5 million deal with Rugby Australia and has been tasked with sparking a Wallabies revival after Dave Rennie was sacked on Monday morning.
Rennie had the worst win percentage of any Wallabies coach with more than 30 Tests — sitting at a win percentage of only 38.24.
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Jones’ tenure officially begins on January 29 and the 62-year-old has eight months to prepare for the 2023 World Cup in France before the 2027 tournament in Australia.
“There’s three (NRL players) that come to mind,” Jones said 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.”
In reply to Jones’ comments, V’landys has poked fun at the time spent on the field without the ball in play, saying anyone who traded codes can: “can take their mobile phone with them on the field because they’ve got 20 minutes to tweet, Instagram or TikTok”.
He also had a message for Jones himself.
“We wish Eddie the best of luck, and I hope he’s got his mobile phone with him so he can fill that 30 minutes as well,” V’landys told AAP.
V’landys also revealed he isn’t concerned players could leave the “greatest game of all” with a host of young guns reportedly on Rugby Australia’s hit list.
According to The Daily Telegraph, some high-profile rugby league stars who come off contract this year are on RA’s hit list, with Sydney Roosters young gun Joseph Suaalii their priority target.
The 19-year-old previously represented the Australian Schoolboys in 2019 before making his NRL debut for the Roosters in 2021 and playing for Samoa at the Rugby League World Cup.
Parramatta Eels centre Will Penisini, who captained The Kings School’s First XV to an undefeated season in 2020, is a free agent after the 2023 season and is reportedly another target.
Melbourne Storm enforcer Nelson Asofa-Solomona is also wanted by RA according to reports and previously had a meeting with Dave Rennie in 2021.
Originally published as V’landys’ cheeky response to Jones’ NRL recruitment plans ahead of Rugby WC