NRL great turned Wallabies star Mat Rogers pinpoints the 'horrific' reason Eddie Jones made the right call with controversial call to drop two of rugby's biggest stars for World Cup

NRL great turned Wallabies star Mat Rogers pinpoints the ‘horrific’ reason Eddie Jones made the right call with controversial call to drop two of rugby’s biggest stars for World Cup

Former cross-code star Mat Rogers has backed Eddie Jones’ bold decision to drop veterans Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper ahead of the World Cup in France.

Rogers, 47, made his NRL debut with the Sharks in 1995 before he was enticed to defect and play for the Wallabies under Jones ahead of the 2003 World Cup on home soil.

He told Wide World of Sports he wasn’t surprised Hooper and Cooper were omitted, pointing to ‘horrific’ results the past decade.

‘Do we want to keep picking the same players and get the same results,’ Rogers asked.

‘I don’t want to sound harsh, but the reality is we haven’t got the results that we wanted as a nation over the last 10-12 years.

Former cross-code star Mat Rogers (pictured playing for the Wallabies) has backed Eddie Jones despite controversy over the coach's selections for the World Cup squad

Former cross-code star Mat Rogers (pictured playing for the Wallabies) has backed Eddie Jones despite controversy over the coach’s selections for the World Cup squad 

Rogers acknowledged Cooper has had a great career, but feels he is part of a losing culture when turning out for the Wallabies

Rogers acknowledged Cooper has had a great career, but feels he is part of a losing culture when turning out for the Wallabies 

‘It’s been horrific, to be honest. Changes need to be made.’

Jones opted for a youthful World Cup squad, with the likes of teenage young gun Max Jorgensen and halfback Issak Fines-Leleiwasa the beneficiaries.

Rogers went onto label fly-half Carter Gordon a ‘tremendous talent’ and pointed out how Jones blooded Matt Giteau as a 20-year-old.

At the time he was an emerging star for the ACT Brumbies – but plenty felt he wasn’t up to Test standard. 

The utility went onto play 103 Tests for the Wallabies from 2002 through to 2016.

Despite Australia losing all five Tests since Jones replaced Dave Rennie in January, bookmakers have Australia as favourites to top Pool C and advance to the quarter-finals.

There they could line up against Michael Cheika’s Argentina or England.

In a much needed boost, assistant coach Neal Hatley confirmed inside centre Samu Kerevi has overcome a hand injury and is available for selection.

Many Wallabies fans were stunned to see openside flanker Michael Hooper overlooked for the World Cup squad

Many Wallabies fans were stunned to see openside flanker Michael Hooper overlooked for the World Cup squad

Australia have lost all five of their Tests this season, with Jones failing to pick up a win since taking charge in January (pictured, Wallabies after being defeated by the All Blacks last month)

Australia have lost all five of their Tests this season, with Jones failing to pick up a win since taking charge in January (pictured, Wallabies after being defeated by the All Blacks last month)

The Wallabies' last win came in November 2022, when they defeated Wales 39-34 in Cardiff (pictured, former skipper James Slipper, centre, after losing to the All Blacks in July)

The Wallabies’ last win came in November 2022, when they defeated Wales 39-34 in Cardiff (pictured, former skipper James Slipper, centre, after losing to the All Blacks in July)

If selected, Jorgensen will make history by becoming the youngest Wallaby ever to play at a World Cup in the opening match.

The winger completed his HSC at Sydney’s exclusive St Joseph’s College in Hunters Hill last year. 

A knee injury sustained during the Super Rugby Pacific season with the NSW Waratahs was expected to see the 19-year-old miss World Cup selection – but Jones picked the speedster.

Australia take on Georgia in their World Cup opener on Sunday, September 10 at 2am AEST.  

Catch every World Cup match ad-free, live and on-demand in 4K UHD on Stan Sport.

source: dailymail.co.uk