‘BS and gossip’: Jones pours cold water on report linking him with Japan

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Saint-Etienne: Eddie Jones has distanced himself from a report out of Japan that says he is considering walking away as Wallabies coach after the Rugby World Cup.

Just months after suggesting on a podcast that he wouldn’t stick around as Wallabies coach beyond this year’s World Cup – before later clarifying what he meant – Jones has again been linked with a potential move before his contract ends in 2027.

Yahoo in Japan published a report this week about the ongoing process to appoint a new Japan head coach to replace Jamie Joseph.

The report said South African Frans Ludeke was a frontrunner but also mentioned Jones as “negotiating” with Japanese officials.

Although the report said Jones would be an unlikely appointment, it hinted that the Wallabies coach might be on the move after the World Cup after being in communication with Japanese officials.

Jones was appointed Japan head coach in 2012 and led the team to the 2015 World Cup where they famously beat South Africa.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has hosed down the latest report that he may not see out his Rugby Australia deal.Credit: Getty

“Mr Jones is expected to announce whether he will advance or withdraw immediately after the World Cup,” a translated part of the report said.

Jones has said numerous times that he thinks the Wallabies can win this year’s World Cup.

Via a Wallabies spokesperson, Jones said the report was “bullshit and gossip”.

The report has caught a number of senior RA officials off guard, who hope that Jones will honour his contract through to 2027 after being parachuted into the role earlier this year.

The Wallabies can put one foot in the quarter-finals with victory over Fiji this weekend.Credit: Getty

RA sacked Dave Rennie in January and brought Jones in, a month after the Australian was axed as England boss.

RA sources, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said they were under the impression Jones was loving his time back as Wallabies coach after 18 years away.

If Jones did leave after the World Cup, it would be an enormous blow to the game and cause a huge headache for RA who have gone all-in on him.

In June, Jones set tongues wagging when he went on a UK podcast and claimed he wouldn’t be with the Wallabies in 2024.

“I’m only coaching ’til this World Cup,” Jones told the podcast. “I’ve signed [until the end of 2027], but as I’ve made the mistake before, I’ve stayed too long. So, we win the World Cup, it will be time to go. If we lose the World Cup, it will be time to go.”

Jones was given the chance to clarify his comments but chose not to.

A few days later, he got in contact with this masthead to set the record straight.

“I am here for five years,” Jones said. “But my only concentration is this Rugby World Cup, so I don’t think past that.”

After five straight losses, the Wallabies notched their first win under Jones last Saturday with a 35-15 victory over Georgia.

Australia can put themselves in a great position to qualify for a quarter-final if they beat Fiji in Saint-Etienne on Sunday (Monday 1.45am AEST).

Watch all the action from Rugby World Cup 2023 on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport. Every match streaming ad-free, live and in 4K UHD with replays, mini matches and highlights available on demand.

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