Hooper: Don't have a crack at Eddie

Michael Hooper defended Eddie Jones and the rest of the Wallabies after a record loss to Wales left their World Cup hopes hanging by a thread.

A second successive defeat following last week's 15-22 reverse against Fiji puts the Wallabies' participation at this year's tournament in jeopardy.

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Australia are tied with Fiji in second place in Pool C, but the Pacific Islanders have a game in hand and face minnows Georgia and Portugal in their final two matches.

Hooper, who was dropped for the World Cup as the Wallabies opted for youth over experience, said on television that Jones and his players and coaches were "putting their nuts on the line" for the team.

"Let's not have a crack at the bloke,” the former Wallabies captain said on Stan Sport.

“I’m looking at the faces of our boys there on screen and that’s a representation of how we all feel I think, they’re absolutely gutted.

“There’s no lack of effort – obviously we’re well off the pace.

“I’ve still got my player’s hat on, I’m a part of this team, I was in here six or seven games ago too so it really hurts when you’re not able to get the pay-off for all the hard work you do but also give fans and the country something to get behind.

“As we saw with the Matildas earlier in the year, you want to get that ‘We can do something here’, and to have that ripped out from under you it’s heart-breaking.”

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Hooper's concern also extended to Jones, who has come under fire after reports that he has already been interview for the Japan head coach job after the World Cup.

"A lot is going to come on Eddie, and maybe there's some fairness in that," he said on Stan Sport.

"But I've been in the camp. No one is up for more hours than Eddie. Eddie is up until 11pm thinking about how to make the Wallabies team better, and he's waking up at 3am answering messages.

"There's no lack of desire from that guy to make that team the best it can be. People will come under fire – players first, coaches, coaches staff, the greater wider rugby community – but let's pull the breaks off Eddie."

Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP

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