NRL immortal Andrew Johns works with playmakers at Wallabies training


Eddie Jones has finally got his man, luring rugby league great Andrew Johns to work with the Wallabies halves ahead of next month’s Test against South Africa.

Fresh off his role in NSW’s defeat in the State of Origin series, league Immortal Johns was at Sydney’s Coogee Oval on Friday, enlisted by Jones to bring an edge to the Wallabies’ attack.

Jones was instrumental in trying to lure ex-halfback Johns across to rugby during his first tenure as Wallabies coach before it was knocked on the head by the Rugby Australia board.

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Johns spent extended time with veteran playmaker Bernard Foley and young gun Carter Gordon.

But the wily coach, who is openly a rugby league fan and has used a number of ex-players as his assistants, never gave up on getting Johns on board.

“We’ve known Andrew a long time and his ability to teach the nuances of first-receiver play is second to none,” Jones said of Johns.

“To have him down here, particularly for a young guy like Carter (Gordon) is such a great learning experience.”

While the session was a one-off, Jones said he’d jump at the opportunity to “mix” codes again.

“If we feel that there’s someone from rugby league who can help us, I certainly don’t have any discrimination against the sport.”

Jones will on Sunday name his first squad since taking over the top job from Dave Rennie in January, with the Test in Pretoria against the Springboks on July 8.

Jones also confirmed towering Western Force lock Izack Rodda wouldn’t be part of Australia’s World Cup campaign after re-injuring his foot.

It’s a blow for both the Wallabies and the 26-year-old, who was part of the 2019 tournament.

“That’s bad luck for him. He’s had those couple of foot injuries. He’s just re-aggravated it so unfortunately, he won’t participate in the World Cup,” Jones said.

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