Eddie Jones ‘to leave Australia after World Cup disaster in dramatic U-turn

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Reports out of Japan have claimed that Australia boss Eddie Jones is expected to take over their national rugby team, despite recently confirming his commitment to the Wallabies after a disastrous Rugby World Cup. Jones led the team to their first-ever pool stage exit, after defeats to Fiji and Wales added fuel to the fire with his position under pressure.

The team were rocked when the Sydney Morning Herald claimed that Jones had interviewed for the soon-to-be vacant Japan position on the eve of the World Cup. Jones denied these secret talks as he reiterated that he wanted to stay with Australia, a position he underlined once again after their elimination.

But Japanese outlet Sponichi has now claimed that Jones is expected to take over in Japan, having held talks with Japan Rugby president Masato Tsuchida behind the scenes. He holds a strong relationship with the chief from his first spell in charge of the nation, as he looks set to make a return to Japan.

This is at odds with the public and strong stance that Jones has made on several occasions after the fall-out with his reported job interview and the disappointing World Cup campaign. He hit back at suggestions that he would leave the Wallabies, but insisted that the future would be decided by his Rugby Australia employers.

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“That’s not my judgment, that’s the judgment for Rugby Australia,” Jones said. “I think I’ve got the ability to turn things around. I was hoping we’d be able to do it by now. We haven’t and I’m bloody disappointed about that. Whilst it looks like a shambles I can guarantee it’s not. I’m committed to coaching Australia. I really take umbrage that people are questioning my commitment to coaching Australia. To doubt my commitment to the job is a bit red hot.”

Following the 40-6 defeat to Wales that effectively put an end to Australia’s campaign, the country’s rugby chief Phil Waugh admitted that he expects Jones to stay on until his contract expires in 2027.

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“We’re committed to Eddie in the commitment we made to him earlier in the year,” Rugby Australia chief executive Waugh said. “We’ll go through the assessment of this campaign, but I think the most important thing is to look at the overall structure of Australian rugby.

“Our intent is to continue on the path that we’re on. I think this is not so much around chopping and changing coaches as it is around actually just fixing the system.”

But if Japanese reports are to be believed, Jones is on the verge of returning to the side he coached between 2012 and 2015 following discrete talks.

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