The Wallabies: Inside Rugby World Cup 2023
The Wallabies campaign at Rugby World Cup 2023 will go down as one of the most memorable in Australian sporting history, for all the wrong reasons.
With highly credentialed coach Eddie Jones taking over the team just 9 months out from the tournament, hopes were high the Wallabies could perform the ultimate ‘smash and grab’ and steal the World Cup.
Instead, the team crashed to an historic exit early in the tournament.
Granted unprecedented access we go behind the scenes to witness the pride, passion, and pain of the most controversial World Cup campaign Australian Rugby has ever seen.
Premiere: February 22 2024
Executive Producers: ANDREW FARRELL & MATT CAMPBELL
Ways to watch:
This is the inside story of one of the biggest gambles in Australian sporting history. 2023 was the year Australian Rugby rolled the dice. Desperate toarrest the Wallabies’ steady decline over the past twenty years, Rugby Australia sacked their incumbent coach just nine months
out from the Rugby World Cup. In his place, they appointed Eddie Jones. He coached Australia and England to World Cup finals,
guided Japan to a historic victory over South Africa, and was part of South Africa’s victorious coaching team in 2007. If anyone
could win the World Cup, it was Eddie. Our cameras were granted exclusive access to players and coaching staff, as the whole
controversial story unfolded. In January, Eddie arrived to the whir of press cameras. He instantly demanded attention, saying that over the few short months available, he would rebuild this struggling team into a crack outfit capable of the ultimate smash and grab heist – stealing the World Cup.
His optimism was intoxicating, it was the message Australian rugby fans had been waiting to hear, and few questioned his ability to deliver. Among the players, there was cautious optimism – Eddie was renowned as a hard task master and a workaholic – but he got
results. Life was about to change for everyone. The optimistic glow didn’t last. The Wallabies had four lead-up games before heading to France for the World Cup and lost them all. During those matches, Eddie decided the existing players weren’t good enough.
When he announced his squad, experienced and revered players like Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper had been replaced with untried rookies. It was the youngest ever Wallabies World Cup squad. The public reaction was disbelief – as the squad flew out to France, Eddie launched an extraordinary attack on reporters, accusing them of being too negative. In France, the results didn’t improve.
Cursed by key injuries, andhurt by inexperience, the Wallabies lost to Fiji and Wales. Despite it all, Eddie remained committed to his youth strategy, but the publicwas angry and vocal. Fans walked out of stadiums. Amid it all, a media report that Eddie was looking to jump ship to coach Japan.
In the end, the Wallabies found themselves knocked out in the pool stages, for the first time in their history. Embedded with the players and coaching staff, “The Wallabies – Inside Rugby World Cup 2023” is a unique, inside view of unfolding sporting drama. Witness the raw passion, emotion and heartbreak, as national and personal pride go on the line at one of the world’s biggest sporting events.