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Wallaby’s ‘jaw hit the ground’ when Eddie was signed

Wallabies Ned Hanigan and Nic White have revealed their “shock” reaction to learning Eddie Jones and not Dave Rennie would be coaching them at the Rugby World Cup.

Hanigan said the players only discovered the news as the same time as the public on January 16 when Rugby Australia dropped their bombshell press release.

“It has been a bit hectic,” the forward said on Nine’s Australian Open tennis coverage.

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“We were back in on Monday week and, yeah, we were in for a few medicals and got pulled in. News got delivered quite quickly. Yeah. Rens is out, Eddie is in.

“Jaw hit the ground, it was all a bit of a shock. But it is an exciting year, nevertheless.”

Former England coach Jones has been signed to coach the Wallabies at two World Cups – the 2023 tournament in France and the 2027 edition in Australia.

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England call cost Rennie his job

Rennie’s future is uncertain and White felt for the New Zealander.

“Obviously a few emotions there,” the halfback said.

“We had just done a camp with Dave and set the scene around the World Cup and we had been with Dave for three years. Initially, you are saddened that he is not able to take us through to the World Cup but the guy coming in, Eddie Jones, an amazing coach, a guy who a lot of us I guess admire what he’s done and are pretty excited.

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“Excited and I guess everyone is kind of quietly, you know, (shitting) themselves about Eddie coming in.”

Indeed, while Jones – now in his second tenure as Wallabies coach – claims he has mellowed in recent years, the players know all about his intense, demanding reputation.

“This might be the last time we are in these polos, Nic,” Hanigan joked.

Nic White.

“Make the most of it today!” White replied.

“Mate, he is a world class coach so there is a bit of excitement there but he is also a whole lot of unknown for us players. It has been a ride.”

Hanigan (Waratahs) and White (Brumbies) are set to square off in the opening round of Super Rugby Pacific on February 24 at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.

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