Jones back White as replacement for Deans

JIM MORTON
Last updated 16:10 04/07/2013
Jake White
Getty Images
JAKE WHITE: "They've [ARU] tried foreigners and I appreciate that. That doesn't mean that I have to agree or disagree with it. That's the nature of the game we're in."
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Former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones believes continued disciplinary problems in the Australian side will be the ultimate downfall of current test mentor Robbie Deans.

While he didn't believe the result of Saturday night's series decider against the British and Irish Lions would determine Deans' fate, Jones on Thursday tipped the New Zealander's days were numbered.

The current Japan national coach indicated his close friend and former World Cup-winning South African coach Jake White was positioned to get the job ahead of Queensland mentor Ewen McKenzie.

Jones said Deans had done a "pretty fair job" over six seasons, reaping one Tri-Nations title in 2011 without any Bledisloe Cup success, but his inability to take a firm stance against discipline problems had placed him in a dire position.

Continued misbehaviour by exciting backs James O'Connor and Kurtley Beale, two players Deans has resolutely stood by, has upset senior Wallabies players and rugby fans alike.

"There's continuing problems off the field of ill-discipline and I think that's something that needs to get sorted out and it's obviously not going to happen under Robbie's regime," Jones told ABC Grandstand.

"The thing the Australian side is missing is not ability but probably the discipline and consistency of preparation.

"I think if they get those two areas right for the World Cup in 2015 they're a great chance to win it."

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver has said Deans' immediate future did not hinge on series success against the Lions but he has also failed to offer any guarantees if the Wallabies lose at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Jones felt the ARU had already made up their minds on Deans and his exit timing would determine whether Brumbies coach White or McKenzie was given the post.

"I think they will either go for Ewen to take over immediately [before The Rugby Championship] or go for Jake to take it for two years and then probably groom Ewen to take it over in 2016 and in the next two years try and sort out the [Melbourne] Rebels," he said.

"I think that's almost a done deal if Jake gets the Wallabies job."

Jones, who acted as a consultant to the Springboks coach at the 2007 World Cup after being sacked by the ARU in 2005, said White's record a strict disciplinarian as well as his international experience made him the strongest option.

"I think Ewen would be better to have a four-year preparation rather than two years and that's why Jake, I think, it tips the scale for him," he said.

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