Rugby Union: Advice from a distant Jones

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ALAN JONES, the former Australian coach, has claimed that he could turn the Wales team into World Cup hopefuls in a month, by making them less organised.

The man who led the Wallabies to their first Grand Slam tour of the UK in 1984, told the rugby legend Gareth Edwards here that the first thing the embattled Welsh coach Kevin Bowring should do in the wake of the thrashing at Twickenham was to sack his backroom staff.

"The Welsh team's problem is not one of a lack of talent, but one of organisation - there is too much of it," Jones said. "The only area in which a coach should be a dictator is in defence. I have never believed in lacing a straight-jacket on a team nor in the statisticians and dieticians who clog up modern coaching.

"The Welsh team would improve if they were allowed more freedom to play to their own strengths. I reckon I could help them to restore their fortunes in a month."

Two other former Welsh internationals, Jonathan Davies and Gareth Davies, had accompanied Edwards to Sydney to help promote Welsh tourism and business in the lead-up to next year's World Cup.

The Cardiff chief executive, Gareth Davies, believes that the Welsh team could benefit from Jones. "I knew him reasonably well in the Eighties and he is still fresh with good ideas," said Davies. "He'd bring a new perspective to the Welsh camp."