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Monday Nov 13, 2023

Eddie Jones: planning coaching comeback after Wallabies exit

In the wake of a challenging tenure as the head coach of the Wallabies, Eddie Jones finds himself at a professional crossroads. Resigning from his post after securing just two victories – against Georgia and Portugal – Jones is now fielding inquiries from various quarters about his coaching services. At 63, he remains resolute about returning to the coaching arena by early next year.

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The most notable speculation revolves around a potential role with the Japanese national team, the Brave Blossoms. Confirming his interest in coaching, Jones revealed, “If Japan did come knocking, I’d definitely chat to them, and I’ve had a couple of other countries approach me. There’s a club in Europe interested, so I would expect by January I’ll be working again.”

Addressing rumours surrounding the Japanese connection, Jones clarified, “I’ve had no formal talks, but discussions take place.” He dismissed speculations about his intentions during the World Cup, particularly the decision to take the youngest squad. “I am not an idiot – I had the intention of staying on,” he emphasised, shedding light on the complexity of coaching decisions.

Jones candidly acknowledged ongoing discussions but underscored that they didn’t signify a commitment to any specific position. “I’ve had a discussion this morning with the club, and that doesn’t mean I’m taking the job as well. That doesn’t mean I’m being disloyal to what I’m doing now,” he explained, debunking misconceptions about his job search.

Despite facing criticism for Australia’s early exit and their heaviest World Cup defeat against Wales, Jones remains unwavering in his commitment to coaching. Approaching his mid-60s, he vehemently denied any intention of retirement. Instead, he sees this phase as an opportunity for personal growth, asserting, “As long as I’ve got the energy to do it, I’ll keep doing it.”

Reflecting on the lessons learned from the Wallabies’ experience, Jones admitted to shortcomings. “I’ve learned a lot from Australia. I’ve learned some things I shouldn’t have done, some things I didn’t do well, and I’ll be a better coach in the next job that I do,” he stated, emphasizing the continuous evolution of his coaching prowess.

As Jones navigates this transitional period, one thing is clear – his passion for coaching and the belief in his ability to contribute significantly to the sport remain undiminished. With several opportunities on the horizon, including potential roles in Japan and Europe, Eddie Jones is poised to script the next chapter of his coaching legacy in the coming months.

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