STEPHEN Jones was meant to be on the school run in Cardiff but now the former Wales fly-half is plotting the downfall of the Wallabies.

The 48-year-old answered a World Cup SOS after the shock departure of attack coach Rob Howley in the week of the tournament starting in Japan.

Howley was sent home for an alleged breach of World Rugby's betting regulations, leaving boss Warren Gatland to act swiftly after the loss of his right-hand man.

In came in Jones, who had been confirmed in the role after the tournament as part of Wayne Pivac's management team.

Suddenly the former Scarlets coach is part of Gatland's bid to sign off with World Cup glory.

Asked if it had all been a whirlwind, Jones said: "Yes. You have pretty much hit the nail on the head there.

"It's been manic, if I am honest, but what a wonderful welcome I have had from the boys and the management.

"I have worked with a number of the players and management before. The senior players were excellent - they took the helm and took the lead - which was great."

Jones, who said he had not had chance to catch up with Howley, was at home in Cardiff when he received the call.

"It was a bit of a shock," he said. "When I got the call, it was a straightaway decision. I am very fortunate that I have a supportive wife as well! It was an instant decision.

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"Obviously, there is a wonderful foundation in place. There are a lot of good things in the library already.

"'Gats' has been excellent and said I can evolve things slowly, but obviously I am conscious there is going to be limited grass time, but where I am fortunate is that there are so many good things in place.

"It's a wonderful environment. You look at each department, how they function.

"Everybody knows their role, and they do it very well from a management perspective."

Jones won 104 caps and faced the Wallabies nine times, with his last international appearance being the third-place play-off against them in 2011.

After winning just two encounters as a player, with one draw, the former fly-half gets a first crack at securing a success as a coach.

"It will be a massive occasion, and it's one as players and coaches that you love - big sporting moments," said Jones, who took up coaching with Wasps after hanging up his boots.

"We have some things to evolve quickly and improve, which is great. It's about playing smart, recognising how the opposition set themselves up. From an attacking perspective, you have to have the ability to shape the opposition's defence.

"It's about being smart with the ball - you don't want to waste your energy in certain areas of the park. When you get in the right areas, you need to convert your chances and be potent.

"They have lots of talented players, but I look at it from our perspective, and our boys will be looking forward to that challenge of going up against those boys.

"We have got some wonderful players regarding skill-sets, athletic ability, work-rate off the ball. It's exciting from our end."