Wallabies coach Eddie Jones is reported to have interviewed for another job just two weeks before Australia’s World Cup campaign got under way in France.
The Wallabies take on Wales in a crunch World Cup clash in Lyon on Sunday night, but will do so under a cloud, with reports that Jones is considering walking away from Australian rugby despite having four years remaining on his current contract.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Jones has held formal discussions about returning to Japan, who he coached between 2011 and 2015.
Japan are on the hunt for a new head coach, with incumbent Jamie Joseph already confirmed to be returning to New Zealand after the World Cup.
Jones has reportedly been actively involved in Japan’s search for a new coach, a position which he himself has applied for, and held a Zoom interview on 25 August, two days before the Wallabies lost their final World Cup warm-up against tournament hosts France.
When questioned about the report of an early exit, Jones declined to comment. Rugby Australia chief executive Phil Waugh said he is taking Jones for his word in a statement.
“Eddie’s said there’s nothing in it. So, as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of the story, and everyone’s focus is on this weekend’s crucial game against Wales,” said Waugh.
Jones was appointed as Wallabies head coach at the beginning of the year, replacing Dave Rennie after Australia’s poor run of form under the New Zealander in 2022.
However, the initial excitement of the Jones’ return was quickly doused, as the Wallabies lost five games on the trot before the World Cup. Australia opened their campaign with a win against Georgia, but their hopes of qualifying from Pool C took a massive hit in a historic loss to Fiji, which has made Sunday’s match against Wales a must-win.
Photo: William West/AFP