Australian rugby
Deans must tell the truth: Eddie Jones
ESPN Staff
May 25, 2013
Saracens coach Eddie Jones looks on, Northampton Saints v Saracens, Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England, February 14, 2009
Eddie Jones has questioned the motives of Wallabies coach Robbie Deans leaving out Quade Cooper © Getty Images

Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has lashed out at current Australia coach Robbie Deans after the omission of fly-half Quade Cooper from the 25-man squad to face the British & Irish Lions.

In his Saturday column for Sydney's Daily Telegraph, Jones calls on Deans "not to treat the rugby public to the sham of media speak" and admit to the real reasons behind why Cooper missed the initial squad.

"Tell it straight that Cooper has missed your 25-man Wallabies squad because you think he's not good for the team environment," Jones wrote. "The ball is then in Cooper's court to show he can change."

Deans has faced a barrage of criticism from many former players and pundits since naming his squad last Sunday, and Jones has joined with his own objections and says it is "just rubbish when built on the case that he needs to be more assertive in attack and dominant in defence."

"It means no room for the No.10 who plays every minute of every game; no start for the guy who made three tackles in a row against the Cheetahs last weekend; and no need for the attacker who has made more line breaks than any other top Australian No.10 this season."

Jones said he watched the Reds v Cheetahs game last weekend and had nothing but praise for Cooper as he toiled well despite being on the end of some wayward passing and a rare off game from Will Genia.

"Will Genia had more loop and spin on his passes than a Shane Warne wrong 'un yet Cooper continued to attack the gain line playing off poor passes from his halfback," Jones wrote. "I'm still scratching my head. Cooper's understanding of the gain line, of finding space, is far ahead of any other No.10 in Australia so if Deans isn't picking him, there must be other reasons."

Jones suggested those other reasons were probably personal, and noted previous fallouts Deans has had with high profile players.

"Deans does not forgive players who cross him," Jones wrote. "Just ask Andrew Mehrtens and Matt Giteau."

Now coaching the Japan national side, Jones still keeps a very close eye on Super Rugby and maintains a strong connection with Brumbies mentor Jake White, who hired Jones as part of his coaching staff when he won the 2007 Rugby World Cup with the Springboks.

Jones felt the make-up of the Wallabies squad was good overall, with a strong forward pack and good outside backs but there was no fly-half.

"O'Connor is a part-timer. He is an instinctive runner who looks to use his natural skill rather than build an attack," Jones wrote. "Barnes is an excellent inside centre, but at flyhalf he plays far too deep and plays a conservative field position game."

© ESPN Australia / New Zealand

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