Jones confirms Japan departure

Eddie Jones’s reported move to the Stormers drew a step closer after he confirmed on Tuesday that he would be stepping down as Japan coach after the World Cup.

Jones said last week that he had been in talks with the Stormers about a coaching role, with the former Wallabies mentor and Springbok consultant widely tipped as the likely successor to Allister Coetzee.

Although Jones’s coaching contract with Japan was always due to expire at the end of this year, there was an expectation that he would continue in some capacity as a Japanese team prepares to enter an expanded Vodacom Super Rugby competition from next year.

While confirming his departure from his coaching position in Japan, Jones didn’t reveal any details about a prospective move elsewhere.

‘The [Japan Rugby Football] Union are going to announce this afternoon that I will not be continuing after 2015,’ he told Japanese news agency Kyodo. ‘That was always the case as my contract was until the end of the year, so all they are doing is stating the obvious.

‘People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on. But that was just an administrative role, not a coaching role. All I was doing was helping get it set up.’

On Monday, Western Province director of rugby Gert Smal confirmed that they would be concluding their search for a Super Rugby coach in the near future.

Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

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Craig Lewis