Eddie Jones is happy with his decision to part ways with the Australia national team, which frees the veteran coach up to pursue new opportunities in the sport.
Rugby Australia on Tuesday accepted the 63-year-old’s resignation as head coach, and reflecting on his departure, Jones feels his exit was a direct result of a misalignment between his vision and the direction that RA wished to take.
The Wallabies under Jones have slid to ninth in the world rankings, and suffered their worst World Cup ever after winning just two of their last nine games.
“I went in there with a plan and the contract reinforced the plan and the commitment of both myself and Rugby Australia to fulfill obligations and we had a bit of discourse on the obligations,” Jones said. “So why should I have any regrets?
“Post the World Cup there was always going to be a decision to be made whether we were going to change Australian rugby or not.
“I went in with a plan and had a commitment from Rugby Australia what that looked like.
“When the unity of where we were going wasn’t the same, not because of the lack of desire from Rugby Australia, but there’s other forces at play, then the only thing I could do was resign.”
He believed the system had to change after two decades of unsuccessful rugby, adding: “The results are disappointing, but I went in there with a plan to change Australian rugby, which not only involves the team, but the system to put it together.
“When you’ve had 20 years of unsuccessful rugby that’s because of the system and the system needs to change.
“I went in with a plan of how to change the system and that’s unable to be changed. I felt my job would be compromised for the next four years, which I wasn’t prepared to do.
“The disappointing thing was I had a vision about what needed to be done and the two parties weren’t able to come to an agreement on what needed to be done.
“I don’t want to work for someone like that again because it’s so hard. When you’re a smaller [rugby] country like Australia, you need to have everyone working together.
“It makes it very difficult and you’re relying on chance, on a couple of freak players to come through. You’ve got to be more purposeful about that.”
And, in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph in the UK, Jones disclosed his deep passion for the game, lamenting the current formulaic style of play, and envisioned a more innovative and versatile approach.
The former Japan and England boss remained resolute in his determination to coach a top nation, not just for victory’s sake, but to reshape the rugby landscape with his unique approach.
“I love the game. The one thing that strikes me – I don’t like the way it is played now,” he told The Telegraph. “It’s a formula, it’s almost like a pop song. There are high kicks, one forward crashes up, you play the ball off No 10 and then another kick.
“I want to create a team that can play a different way. That is probably what I have always enjoyed the most in rugby. I love winning, but I love creating teams that can maybe change the game a little bit. I have done it a few times and would like to do it again.”