NRL Legend Andrew Johns Inspires Wallabies Ahead of Rugby Championship Opener

NRL Legend Andrew Johns Ignites Wallabies Ahead of Rugby Championship Opener
Photo Credit: paddynapper / Wikimedia Commons

In preparation for their Rugby Championship opener against South Africa, the Wallabies welcomed rugby league legend Andrew Johns into their training camp.

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones, who had previously tried to sign Johns during his tenure in 2005, expressed his admiration for the icon’s teaching skills as Johns provided guidance to the team with his expert knowledge of playmaking strategies and techniques.

Wallaby Talents Seek Wisdom from Andrew Johns

During a sun-drenched session in Coogee, five-eighths Bernard Foley, Carter Gordon and Ben Donaldson took the opportunity to refine their skills under Johns’ tutelage. A notable absence from the group, however, was Quade Cooper, who was attending a wedding. 

Jones paid tribute to the established relationship between Johns and the Wallabies. He stressed that it was a tremendous learning experience for young talents such as Carter.

Jones also took a playful dig at footy supremo Peter V’landys, highlighting the competitive tension but also the cooperative spirit that characterises Australian sport. 

Brett Hodgson, another accomplished former rugby league star and the Wallabies’ defence coach, took part in the training sessions alongside Johns.

The Wallabies played an intense 15 against 15 training match on Friday, with a particular focus on kicking. Jones dispelled the notion that the “good old days” of rugby were defined solely by the running game. He pointed out that historically, kicking played a significant role in the game.

Reflecting on the training session, Jones emphasised the interconnectedness of the skills. “Well, when I played the game, some of the best kickers of the ball were the best runners of the ball and some of the best runners of the ball were the best passers of the ball”. 

Such wisdom, along with tutelage from the great Andrew Johns, has surely left a lasting impression on the Wallabies’ playmakers.

Published 3 July 2023