WALLABIES IN WONDERLAND
By ANN-MARIE MAY
MOST people would give anything to have a job that allowed them to stay at a premier resort, play the odd round of golf on an international course and have the pick of great beaches.
But for some the reality isn't so wonderful ? just ask the Wallabies.
It appears the Coffs Harbour lifestyle offered to the country's finest rugby union players isn't all it's cracked up to be. At least that is what you could believe after reading comments made in Saturday's Sydney Morning Herald.
The paper, in a story on who was instrumental in the sacking of former coach Eddie Jones, said an unnamed 'high profile' player would have considered offers from rugby league if Jones persisted in making the Wallabies spend most of the season at their Coffs Harbour base.
It went on to say this player was not alone among the squad in 'being sick and tired of being stuck in Coffs Harbour' during the international season. So is this just the opinion of one player, or sentiments shared by the majority?
Not so, says Wallabies coach John Connolly.
Believing the quote to be taken out of context, Mr Connolly said both he and the players enjoyed their time in Coffs Harbour.
"Coffs Harbour is very important to the Wallabies," Mr Connolly said.
"The facilities are fantastic, the people are very accommodating, and the city is wonderful."
On his appointment as Wallabies coach Mr Connolly made it clear that the team would be spending less time in Coffs Harbour, but continues to deny the team is unhappy with, or have turned their backs on the city.
"We use Coffs as our base, our home. The key to its longevity is that we keep it fresh and use it in the right way ? we don't want an overkill.
"My recommendation is that it's the place to train."
Coffs Harbour mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, said he found the comments strange as he had only ever received positive feedback from the Wallabies camp.
"The players have a dominant role in the decision (of where their training camp is to be based) when the contracts come round," Cr Rhoades said.
"From what they have told me, and the fact that Coffs Harbour was chosen, they are more than happy."