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Thread: Jones chasing league centre

  1. #1
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    Jones chasing league centre

    Jones chasing league centre

    By Bret Harris
    May 09, 2007


    QUEENSLAND Reds coach Eddie Jones is in England trying to recruit another rugby league player for the wooden spooners but the question is, will he be there to coach any new signings?

    Jones flew to England after the Reds' 92-3 humiliation at the hands of the Bulls in Pretoria amid speculation about his future.

    It is understood one of the players Jones is looking at is Bradford centre Ben Harris, who played 40 games for the Bulldogs in the NRL, including the 2004 grand final victory.

    Ben Harris: http://www.bradfordbulls.co.uk/bb_sq...asp?SquadID=65

    Jones, the former Australia coach, was instrumental in the crossover of Wendell Sailor, Mat Rogers and Lote Tuqiri. Queensland has three rugby league converts on its roster: Clinton Schifcofske, Berrick Barnes and Andrew Walker.

    But neither Schifcofske nor Walker alleviates the Reds' most pressing concern in the backline, inside centre, where Lloyd Johannson, Andrew Brown, Barnes and Quade Cooper have all been tried this year.

    The tough-tackling Harris, 23, may be able to fill the void. But whether Jones is in Brisbane to coach the Reds is still very much up in the air.

    The drums are beating loudly in Queensland to have Jones released from the final two years of his contract.

    He was the first non-Queenslander to be appointed Reds coach and it was hoped an outsider would bring together the state's rival factions.

    Instead of fixing the problems in Queensland, Jones seems to have become part of the problem.

    He has been unable to attract any frontline Wallabies to Queensland and may struggle to keep some he's got.

    The criticism of Jones' coaching and management style at the Wallabies is now being repeated at the Reds.

    While the Reds sustained a spate of injuries, including a season-ending knee injury to talismanic full back Chris Latham, the team's results were unacceptable.

    The Reds did not appear to have any coherent or consistent strategy over the course of the season.

    Jones still has backers, including former Wallabies centre Tim Horan, but cynics suggest that most of his support comes from those who are associated with the same management company that looks after Jones.

    As calls for Queensland to sack Jones gained momentum, the QRU held an ad hoc board meeting in Brisbane last night to begin its review of the season.

    Lewis said the gathering was "not a crisis meeting" and that Jones and the team would be reviewed over the coming weeks.

    "But we are hardly going to kick him out the door," Lewis said.

    Horan, who was a national selector during Jones' tenure as Australia coach, said the Reds mentor must stay but admitted some changes had to be made at the club.

    "Maybe we've got to re-evaluate where Queensland rugby is heading," Horan said.

    "I fully support Eddie Jones and the players. Maybe there's got to be a cultural shift.

    "I know the amount of work they are putting in but sometimes you are not good enough. That's just a fact of life in professional sport."

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    Champion Contributor chook's Avatar
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    Another article states that Jones is heading away for a holiday during the ARC games, if true then he ain't really interested in seeing some up and coming talent on home soil. Odd man.

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    Legend Contributor Flamethrower's Avatar
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    "There is no intention to sack Eddie,'' Freer said.
    "As our Chairman Peter Lewis said as recently as yesterday, Eddie has a three year contract with us and we want him to continue in the job.

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    Senior Player Contributor hopep's Avatar
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    Oh, what an original idea Eddie - the last lot of leaguies the Reds bought have helped win how many S12/14 titles ?
    Thats right - none.

    They only switch codes towards the end of their careers - someone should send an email to ARU, Connolly and Jones with one word.

    DEVELOPMENT

    Well I suppose it means the Reds will be in the cellar for a few more years.

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    Veteran Contributor JediKnight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamethrower
    "There is no intention to sack Eddie,'' Freer said.
    "As our Chairman Peter Lewis said as recently as yesterday, Eddie has a three year contract with us and we want him to continue in the job.
    In other words....he's out the door!!!

    What's the fixation with signing backs from the stunted game? What Australian needs are more mongrel forwards and that is where the money should be spent.

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