Wallabies assistant coach Pierre-Henry Broncan has put the blame Australia’s disastrous World Cup campaign not on coach Eddie Jones but the Super Rugby competition declaring the lack of world class competition had left players exposed at test level.
Broncan, a Frenchman said the departure of South African teams – and those from Japan and Argentina – from Super Rugby post Covid has had a direct impact on the fortunes of the Wallabies.
Having seen the pressure applied in top European competitions for teams fighting for survival, he said the fact Australian players are playing against each other, and New Zealanders, was a poor breeding ground for international players.
“A big difference between the Top 14 and European Cup and your Super Rugby competition in Australia, with New Zealand, is the pressure,” Broncan told reporters.
“In France, we have pressure every game because there are massive things about relegation or qualification. It’s very important for the French and European teams.
“In Super Rugby there is no relegation, there is just to play to win the Super Rugby. It’s a good thing … but just against New Zealand and Australian teams.
“You will see the next games during the World Cup quarterfinals, semi-finals, final there will be a massive pressure on the pitch. A lot of games will finish with a very close score between the two teams and the last five or 10 minutes you can win or lose a game. But today for our team it is not that.
“During the halftime against Wales I was sure we are going to win the game. 10 points is nothing. But we start the second half and we concede a penalty and 13 points and it was finished. We need to change that in the future.
Since the start of 2022 Australia has played in 10 Tests where the margin has been five points or less, losing seven.
Broncan said after the Brumbies, who supplied six Wallabies for the team against Wales, the rest of the Australian teams were below the standard necessary to produce players capable of thriving in test rugby.
“Brumbies is a good way for the team because they have a team that is very tough and they can beat New Zealand sides today. The other teams in Australia it was very tough and difficult to win (against) the New Zealand teams. It is a rarity and we need to change that firstly,” said.
“When you had Super Rugby with the South African teams, it was a tough competition, very tough competition. Today’s South African teams, they play in Europe and it was a benefit for the north hemisphere.”
Amid ongoing speculation about the future of Wallabies coach Eddie Jones who has denied links to Japan, Broncan was confident he wouldn’t be leaving the Australian team.
“Yes, of course. I am sure about it because he’s a great coach. I understand everything about it and I think in his head he wants now to find the best solution for the Australia national team and his country. He is the right person.
“It is not just a problem of Eddie Jones or the players today, I am sure about it.”