Rugby great Tim Horan believes Eddie Jones’s ability to make it “all about Eddie” has left Michael Cheika and the Wallabies behind the eight ball in their three-Test series with England.
Horan says Jones’s orchestrated ploy to steal the limelight has already proven a masterstroke, with England ambushing Australia 39-28 in the first Test in Brisbane last Saturday night.
A two-time World Cup-winning legend for Australia, Horan applauded the cunning way Jones had managed to take the spotlight – and heat – off his players in the lead-up to the series opener.
“The way that he just plays the media and, once again, it’s all about Eddie,” Horan said on the Back Page on Fox Sports.
“He’s protecting his players, he’s shielding his players from the media.
“You’ve hardly seen any English players interviewed and Eddie, he’s a gamesmanship (master); he loves it and he’s been very good off the field … and Michael Cheika, he is behind the eight ball.”
Horan also believes Jones strategically got one over his former Randwick teammate in game one at Suncorp Stadium.
“Eddie Jones was brilliant,” he said.
“They had a brilliant game plan to actually snuff out the Wallabies’ attack defensively.”
Horan said it was obvious little had changed since the days when he was an Australian selector when Jones coached the Wallabies more than a decade ago.
“He totally gets the team he wants,” Horan said.
“And he’s a great tactician and he really out-thought Michael Cheika in that Test match.”
The Wallabies must win in Melbourne on Saturday night to ensure a series decider in Sydney on Saturday week.