In the wake of a shattering loss to an under-strength Scotland in Sydney, Wallabies fan Jack Quigley fired off a passionate open letter to the Australian team on his Facebook page, denouncing their latter of commitment and pride in the gold jersey.
The 29-year-old’s desperate plea struck a chord with similarly frustrated supporters and the media alike, quickly going viral. Quigley, who has around 500 Facebook friends, has attracted almost 40,000 likes on his post.
Just wondering if you’d be so kind as to pass this on to Michael Cheika on my behalf.
My name is Jack Quigley, I’m 29 years old, I’m a rugby player/coach/referee in the Far North Coast rugby competition.
But that’s not important. I’m a pleb. I’m a nobody. My opinion on rugby counts for the square root of f-all in the grand scheme of things.
But I’ve got one thing. Passion. Passion for the game of rugby. And for the Wallabies. And you can’t deny me that. Despite your best efforts.
I love you, but I’ll be blunt. The Wallabies are a disgrace. You got lucky in the Quarter Finals of the World Cup in 2015 thanks to Craig Joubert losing the plot in the last minute (against Scotland, funnily enough) for some reason and you’ve lived off it ever since.
The constant disappointments. I’ll grant you New Zealand. The All Blacks are playing a different game than everyone else right now. But losing at home, to Scotland ‘B’? (I say Scotland ‘B’, because anyone decent the Scots had is in New Zealand on the Lions tour right now).
You hurt me. I have to go to work tomorrow. I’m not going to turn this into one of those “they earn so much money they should do better” rants, because I know that our playing stocks are limited. Severely. But I have to go to work tomorrow, and I have to do with this sick feeling in my stomach that stems from the utter disappointment that is my national rugby team.
When I was a kid – hell, even now, I would’ve given my left nut just to pull on a Wallabies jumper, but when I see you guys run out, I feel like you don’t care. I KNOW you don’t care, because it shows. And don’t tell me I’m wrong. Don’t say that you DO care, because my response is that you don’t care ENOUGH! CLEARLY!
I live in Lismore, NSW, it’s a two hour drive to Brisbane. I’m willing to drive to Brisbane this week and address the squad. For 15 minutes. That’s all I’ll need. Then I’ll turn around and drive home again. Because i feel like you’ve lost touch with the common man.
Anyone who says “I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that” is wrong. You have. And it kills me. And everyone I know. You’re quite literally hurting people with your lack of application to your jobs.
The Wallabies attitude towards the basic skills is unacceptable. A culture of blame-avoidance has been allowed to fester.
The Wallabies attitude towards goal kicking of “hopefully he kicks it” is simply not gonna cut it.
I’d suggest an attitude of “Bernard, it’s literally your full time job, perhaps you should stay back a few minutes after training and practice until you don’t miss the goals any more?”
The attitude towards the set piece of “hopefully TPN/Stephen throws it to the guy we’ve lifted” is simply not gonna cut it. I’d suggest “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong.”
If the forwards aren’t in at 8am tomorrow morning working on set piece, something is wrong.
If the halves aren’t in at 8am tomorrow morning working on passing the ball to the chest of the guy they’re trying to pass it to, something is wrong.
If Bernard isn’t in at 8am tomorrow working on kicking the ball through the god damn posts, something is wrong.
And if I have to see Izzy (or any other player, for that matter, nothing against Izzy personally) collecting his Seiko “Wallabies Man of the Match” watch after losing to Italy like I did after the game tonight, I’ll lose it. You’ll lose me. Forever. Gone.
Give me 15 minutes. That’s all I want. To look these guys in the eye and tell them WHAT IT MEANS to be a rugby fan in this country. Because they don’t know. They’re not fans. They’re players and coaches. That’s different. They don’t know.
Print this email out, give it to the Wallabies media person, pass it on to Cheiks and hopefully he gives me a 15 minute window. I’ll take a day off work. It’ll cost me $150 in addition to the 4-hour round trip but I’ll do it. And then I’ll pay $100 and a 4-hour round trip on Saturday to drive up and have the privilege of watching you stutter and stumble and fumble and make a game against Italy look a million times harder than it actually is.
But I’ll do it. And I’ll cheer you on and hope that you win so that on Sunday I can go into work to earn my peanuts with a smile on my face while you enjoy another skinny latte at the airport.
Whether young Jack’s words can inspire the Wallabies to climb out of their rut or not, there’s little question the Far North Coast player/referee/coach has made more of an impact in the Australian rugby community in the last two days than any Wallabies player or coach has since the 2015 World Cup.