ADVERTISEMENT

Done and dusted - Eddie Jones is Japan's next head coach

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Wednesday Dec 13, 2023

Eddie Jones, despite denying links with the Japan head coaching role just ninety days ago, has been officially appointed as the next head coach of the national team per the Japanese Rugby Union’s official X account. The decision came after Jones impressed during his second interview for the position in Tokyo last Thursday. A selection panel promptly endorsed him as the preferred candidate, and his candidacy was subsequently approved at a Japan Rugby Football Union board meeting held on Wednesday night. Jones is slated to address the media at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, marking the beginning of his second tenure with the Brave Blossoms.

Jones previously led the Japanese national team for a three-year stint starting in 2012, during which he orchestrated their most famous triumph—a stunning 34-32 World Cup victory over South Africa in England. Despite his popularity in Japan, there were lingering doubts about whether Jones was the ideal fit for the coaching role. Sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the confidential nature of the discussions, revealed that some members of the JRFU board had reservations about the appointment.

However, Jones emerged as a strong candidate, fueled in part by his close relationship with JRFU president Masato Tsuchida, whom he had known since his assistant coaching days at Suntory in 1997 when Tsuchida was the coach. Speculation arose in Japanese media suggesting that Jones’ appointment was a formality, with rumours of a “private deal” between him and Tsuchida having been arranged some time ago.

It will now be interesting to follow what Jones’s primary competition for the role Frans Ludeke will do next. Currently, the former Vodacom Bulls head coach is in charge of the Kubota Spears in the Japanese League One competition but has clearly shown an appetite to coach at the international level.

Jones’s appointment comes 45 days after he resigned as the coach of Australia following the Wallabies’ disappointing World Cup campaign. Despite having taken over just nine months prior and being contracted until the 2027 World Cup, Jones faced criticism for Australia’s lacklustre performance. This revelation followed a secret interview with JRFU officials on August 25, a mere two days before a Wallabies warm-up match against France in Paris. Australian players and administrators were oblivious to Jones’ exploration of coaching opportunities beyond the tournament.

Despite strenuous denials by Jones, including private reassurances to Rugby Australia chief executive Phil Waugh, it became evident that the 63-year-old had his sights set on a return to coaching the Brave Blossoms. Jones, who permanently moved to Japan last month, expressed his interest in coaching Japan in an interview with Kyodo News on November 7, stating definitively, “If they [Japan] came to me and said, ‘Are you interested in coaching them?’, I’d definitely be interested.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Although Jones faced challenges and criticism during his recent coaching stints, the JRFU remains convinced that he is the best person to lead the Brave Blossoms to the 2027 World Cup, effectively securing Australia’s former head coach despite the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries in July. Jones’ return to Japan promises to be a captivating chapter in the nation’s rugby journey.

Comments




Related Articles

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Bristol Bears break 20-year record with victory...

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    All Blacks star Jordie Barrett discusses...

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Gloucester's next 'Rees-Zammit' scores incredible...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Bordeaux prop scores the ultimate front row try in the Top 14

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Northampton Saints youngster George Hendy seals the Premiership title

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Springbok centre tears it up in the Top 14 for a crucial hattrick

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    English winger leaves defenders in his dust for long range score in Top 14

  • 11 WEEKS AGO

    Five of the best tries from the Investec Champions Cup

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Pitch invader melted in thunderous tackle

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath's Beno Obano shown red in the Premiership final

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    World Player of the Year BANNED heading into Paris Olympics following horror challenge during Madrid SVNS

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Debate surrounding ludicrous rugby league tackle leaves union fans baffled

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Courtney Lawes: 'We don't need to have a 10/10 performance or do anything out of the ordinary'

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Pitch invader melted in thunderous tackle

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Leinster prospect pulls off outlandish footballing skills in URC quarterfinal

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Danny care binned for high tackle on Courtney Lawes

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    Wild start at Twickenham as Quins pull off another wonder-try

  • 10 WEEKS AGO

    Tickets now on sale as World XV set to face France in thrilling encounter

View All

Funnies

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Former French star's 'tackle of the season attempt' goes viral

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Hilarious interaction between Simon Zebo and journalist

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Nick David unexpectedly shows up to semi final in full kit

  • 8 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The worst camera angle in rugby history

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Louis Rees-Zammit's real reason for NFL move exposed

View All

Amateur

  • 75 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 76 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 99 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 99 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 99 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 8 HOURS AGO

    Shock recall for veteran fullback ahead of international tests

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    England announce starting XV for Japan test

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Beauden Barrett returns to play for club side after 14 years

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Andy Goode includes Joe Marler in his England XV to beat New Zealand on summer tour

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Beno Obano receives judgement following Gallagher Premiership final red card

View All