Holloway riding high after first Wallabies camp under Jones

Sat, Apr 22, 2023, 12:08 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The NSW Waratahs and Western Force battle it out in a crucial clash at Allianz Stadium

NSW Waratahs lock Jed Holloway is confident the Wallabies are heading in the right direction, impressed with what new coach Eddie Jones is bringing to the group after his first camp in charge.

Holloway is one of few Wallabies that will make the trip to Auckland for Saturday's clash with the Blues as Darren Coleman freshens up his squad.

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The likes of Michael Hooper, Izaia Perese and Mark Nawaqanitawase have been rested whilst Dave Porecki and Ned Hanigan deal with concussions, with Holloway looking to harness the energy of the new faces.

“You’ve got to harness their excitement and nurture them a bit around the field. They’re going to be running out hot so the leaders have to put their arm around them at stages if they make mistakes or hit too many dead rucks just because they want to get into the game,” Holloway believes.

“We all understand that we are not going to be the favourites going over there but we have to have the mentality that this is a huge opportunity to show the strength of our squad, and the culture we have built here, to go make everyone proud.”

Holloway was the first Wallaby to speak to media after the three-day camp on the Gold Coast.

“It was really good. It’s different to ‘Rens’,” he explained.

“The intensity he operates at, he really holds edge and he creates it by knowing where to insert himself. I think you heard ‘Flooky’ (Josh Flook) saying he didn’t see him all morning but when you did see him you definitely felt his presence whilst he was there.

“He’s really clear about the vision that he has. He pumps guys full of confidence about the talent that we have in Australia and he wants guys to know that we’re going for it and that we can do it.

“He’s a guy who’s been around for years and years, seen everything, not just rugby. He loves his rugby league, loves his soccer, I don’t know if he sleeps because the amount of stuff that he’s watching that he brings up and constantly referring back to. 

“He’s got a wealth of experience and (I’m) really keen to learn off him.”

Holloway believes Jones has picked up where former coach Dave Rennie left off, confident they are heading in the right direction with the World Cup opener just under five months away.

“I was confident with ‘Rens’ there. For the back end of the Spring Tour, what he provided and the way we started to mesh as a team, I was confident coming home that we’d do that. I’m still really confident because (Eddie) understands that he’s not going to bring in a whole new system,” he said.

“‘Rens’ built the foundation to get us to where we’re at, he just needs to bring that edge. He’s not trying to change the whole world, he just knows that I can bring this vision and inspires the guys that we’re going to get results.

“I have no doubt from what I saw over the last three days and the way the group grew, the culture that started to come together, that we’re in a good place and on the right track.”

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