'World Cups are about the now': Sonny Bill Williams slams Eddie Jones decision
By Rugby Onslaught

‘World Cups are about the now’: Sonny Bill Williams slams Eddie Jones decision

Eddie Jones dropped the bombshell on the rugby world on Thursday that two of his most experienced players, former captain Michael Hooper and flyhalf Quade Cooper, will not be going to the World Cup next month.

That is over 200 caps-worth of experience Jones has overlooked, opting for a younger and more inexperienced squad presumably with an eye on the 2025 British & Irish Lions tour. Jones has said that both Hooper and Cooper may feature at the World Cup, but are not as fit or as sharp as he wants them to be currently.

This decision has not been wholly popular, with plenty of fans and pundits questioning how inexperienced Jones’ squad is, particularly at No10. One of those is Sonny Bill Williams. Now the former All Black knows a thing or two about winning World Cups having won two in his career, and he has said on X that this is a time for experience.

He wrote: “I’m all for focussing on the future…. But World Cups are about the now! France is 4 weeks away….now is a time for experience and proven world class – and two of them are staying at home. As a rugby fan I know I’m not alone in saying these two special players will be missed at the Rugby World Cup.”


2023 Rugby World Cup Squad (age, professional club, junior club, Tests)
Props (6)
Angus Bell (22, NSW Waratahs, Hunters Hill Rugby Club, 23 Tests)*
Pone Fa’amausili (26, Melbourne Rebels, Moorabbin Rams, 5 Tests) *
Zane Nonggorr (22, Queensland Reds, Gold Coast Eagles, 2 Tests)*
Blake Schoupp (23, ACT Brumbies, Woonona Shamrocks, uncapped)*
James Slipper (34, ACT Brumbies, Bond Pirates, 131 Tests)
Taniela Tupou (27, Queensland Reds, Brothers Rugby Club, 48 Tests)

Hookers (3)
Matt Faessler (24, Queensland Reds, USQ Saints, 1 Test)*
David Porecki (30, NSW Waratahs, Seaforth Raiders, 14 Tests)*
Jordan Uelese (26, Melbourne Rebels, Eltham Rugby Club, 18 Tests)

Locks (4)
Richie Arnold (33, Stade Toulousain, Gentlemen of Murwillumbah, 4 Tests)*
Nick Frost (23, ACT Brumbies, Hornsby Lions, 12 Tests)*
Matt Philip (29, Melbourne Rebels, Newport Juniors, 28 Tests)*
Will Skelton (c) (31, La Rochelle, Wentworthville Magpies, 28 Tests)

Back Row (5)
Langi Gleeson (22, NSW Waratahs, Harbord Harlequins, 3 Tests)*
Tom Hooper (22, ACT Brumbies, Bathurst Bulldogs, 3 Tests)*
Rob Leota (26, Melbourne Rebels, Northern Panthers, 16 Tests)*
Fraser McReight (24, Queensland Reds, Albany Creek Brumbies, 12 Tests)*
Rob Valetini (24, ACT Brumbies, Melbourne Harlequins, 34 Tests)*

Scrumhalves (3)
Issak Fines-Leleiwasa (27, Western Force, Port Douglas Reef Raiders, uncapped)*
Tate McDermott (vc) (24, Queensland Reds, Flinders Rugby Club, 25 Tests)* Nic White (33, ACT Brumbies, Muswellbrook Healers, 63 Tests)

Flyhalves (1)
Carter Gordon (22, Melbourne Rebels, Sunshine Coast Grammar School, 4 Tests)*

Centres (4)
Lalakai Foketi (28, NSW Waratahs, Manly Roos, 5 Tests)*
Samu Kerevi (29, Urayasu D-Rocks, Souths Magpies, 45 Tests)
Izaia Perese (26, NSW Waratahs, Easts Tigers, 5 Tests)*
Jordan Petaia (23, Queensland Reds, Wests Rugby Club, 27 Tests)

Outside Backs (5)
Max Jorgensen (18, NSW Waratahs, Balmain Wolves, uncapped)*
Andrew Kellaway (27, Melbourne Rebels, Hunters Hill Rugby Club, 23 Tests)*
Marika Koroibete (31, Saitama Wild Knights, Nasinu Secondary School, 55 Tests)
Mark Nawaqanitawase (22, NSW Waratahs, Wests Juniors, 6 Tests)*
Suliasi Vunivalu (27, Queensland Reds, Saint Kentigern College, 2 Tests)*

Utility (2)
Ben Donaldson (23, NSW Waratahs, Clovelly Eagles, 2 Tests)*
Josh Kemeny (24, Melbourne Rebels, Easts Rugby Club, 1 Test)*