These are the morning headlines for Monday, January 16th.

Wallabies fire Rennie, call in Jones

Australia sacked manager Dave Rennie and replaced him with former England manager Eddie Jones with immediate effect.

Jones has signed a five-year contract with the Wallabies that will keep him in charge of the team until the 2027 World Cup.

It’s a quick return to rugby for the 62-year-old, who was released by the RFU at the end of last year after an unsuccessful campaign in the autumn. He will now lead Australia to France later this year, where they will face Warren Gatland’s Wales in the group stages of the tournament.

Rennie was dropped on Monday morning, having won just five Tests out of 14 in 2022.

RA President Hamish McLennan confirmed the news in a statement.

“It’s a huge win for Australian rugby to have the best coach in the world at home to coach the iconic Wallabies and oversee the Wallaroos programme,” said McLennan.

“Eddie’s deep understanding of our rugby system and knowledge of our player pool and pathways will take the team to the next level.

“Eddie’s instinctive understanding of the Australian way of playing rugby is an opportunity to land a coach with a wealth of experience and knowledge in the biggest competitions and we didn’t want to miss it.”

Jones, who led the Wallabies to the World Cup final in 2003, said: “It’s a great opportunity for me to come back to Australia and take my country to the Rugby World Cup. This is going to be a great period for Australian rugby. A proud Australian, it’s an honor to come home and lead the national team through these years.

“The Wallabies team is a really talented group of players with good depth. If we can get everyone fit and healthy to go to the World Cup this year, I’m sure we can go to France and break a 24-year drought without winning a Rugby World Cup.

“I saw how brave the Wallaroos were at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand last year; there seems to be a real spirit in this group to push the women’s program forward ahead of the next World Cup in 2025.

“I really want to get home and get stuck.”

Who will win the Six Nations? Cast your vote now

Shanklin chooses his Six Nations squad

Former Wales center Tom Shanklin has selected his Wales squad for the upcoming Six Nations Championship with a series of challenges that have left him with surprising impressions.

Alan Wyn Jones and Alex Cuthbert have been sidelined by the Viaplay Sports analyst, while there is no place for Rhys Webb in their 36-man squad for the spring competition.

Lee Halfpenny is another notable omission, with Ross Moriarty’s physique also overlooked.

READ MORE: An exciting young exile could make the Wales Six Nations squad after he sends a powerful message to Gatland with a goal attempt

In terms of inclusions, Dragons mainstay Chris Coleman is something of a surprise. The 24-year-old started this season after Leon Brown was injured against Wales. Coleman played in all 16 games for the Dragons this season. His ever-present presence is part of why he ranks second in the URC in penalties awarded, and the Bulls recently took on the Dragons.

This prompted one of his club coaches to remind everyone how early Coleman was in the process of becoming an established tight end.

“He’s played about 40 games and he’s a 24-year-old who is nowhere near his prime,” Dragons offensive coach Luke Narraway said last week. “Sometimes you have to go through those difficult moments against one of the best patterns in the URC.

“Overall, we have achieved success throughout the season and we can be proud of the great work that has been done.

“The whole of South African rugby is built on a position of strength and we know they are strong in that area. Did we make a mistake last week? Yes, 100 percent. But we’re not a finished product and we’re really working hard to improve every week; for most of the season we produced results we can be proud of.

“South African teams have set pieces that are among the best in the world, but before the Bulls game we had three games where we had 100 percent clean sheets after our introduction. It gave us a great platform to play on. We’re quietly happy with where we’ve been, but we know we can do better.”

Shanklin’s complete list: Gareth Thomas, Rhys Carré, Nicky Smith, Thomas Francis, Sam Wainwright, Chris Coleman, Davy Lake, Ken Owens, Bradley Roberts, Adam Bird, Christ Tshiunza, Ben Carter, Dafydd Jenkins, Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Jack Morgan, Morgan Morris , Tommy Refell, Tomos Williams, Dane Blacker, Dan Biggar, Kieran Hardy, Owen Williams, Sam Costelow, Kieran Williams, George North, Nick Tompkins, Mason Grady, Joe Roberts, Josh Adams, Ryan Conbeer, Liam Williams, Rio Dyer, Owen Lane, Johnny McNicol

Warren Gatland announced his squad for the tournament on Tuesday.

Tips explain the moment of “madness”

Justin Tipuric explained the captain’s brave challenge that helped the Ospreys seal victory over Montpellier in Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup clash in Swansea.

With two minutes to go and the Welsh side 30-29 up, they claimed a potentially easy three points after Nicky Smith picked up the ball, but captain Tipuric opted for the wing.

As a result of the attempt, Morgan Morris succeeded.

Does fate favor the brave? Something similar.

Tipuric explained that the challenge was made because ospreys do not defend themselves well at night. “If we took out three, they were more likely to come back and not defend well,” he said.

“Basically, we wanted to keep attacking because we felt like we could do more attempts than we did. [could keep out] when we defend today.

“It was a theory, a bit crazy actually. I don’t know what we have this year. We’re trying to make a game out of it until the end.”

There was a method to the madness as the Ospreys won 35-29.

Region cleaning

It was a great weekend for the European regions, with an outright victory recorded.

The Dragons and Scarlets kicked off on Friday night when the Gwent side won 15-21 in France against Pau, their first European victory in three years. The Wales region moved into third place in Group B of the Challenge Cup.

West Walians beat the Cheetahs 20–17 to advance to the competition’s play-offs.

The Ospreys beat Montpellier 35-29 at Swansea on Saturday to move one step closer to the Champions Cup play-offs.

And on Sunday, Cardiff defeated the 14-man Newcastle Falcons 42-10 at Arms Park.

Evolution of the Halalolo lesion

Cardiff and Wales star Willis Halalolo has posted a new update on his rehabilitation following injury.

The center has not played since October after suffering a serious hamstring injury while playing for the Wales region against the Stormers. He posted a video of the cancer incident that ended with his leg being trapped when two Stormers players threw him out. At the time, Halalolo said on social media: “When the crocodile was shot by two big attackers, it always ended badly.”

Speaking at half-time during Cardiff’s game against Newcastle Falcons on Sunday, he updated fans on how his recovery is progressing.

“It’s okay,” he said. “Hopefully next week I’ll start running a little bit. Hopefully early March, mid-March we’ll get our boots back on and we’ll be back.”

  • Exciting young exile could be a Six Nations star for Wales after sending Gatland a powerful message with a try

  • Dan Biggar has been endorsed for Wales’ 6 Nations captain, but competition is fierce when candidates are nominated

  • Sunday rugby news: Wales hopefuls injured ahead of Gatland Six Nations team announcement

  • Warren Gatland stunned the Wales first team as ruthless decisions changed everything

  • Tommy Refel’s extraordinary performance impressed everyone, but Gatland’s call-up is not guaranteed