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Australia have been rocked by the reported news that their head coach Eddie Jones has taken part in a secret job interview with Japan smack bang in the middle of the Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup preparations.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Jones joined Japanese rugby officials over Zoom two days before his side’s devastating 41-17 loss at the hands of France last month to discuss the possibility of returning to the fold with the Cherry Blossoms.
The report goes on to claim that Jones was willing to meet with Japanese executives for an in-person follow-up interview in France. Jones has had two stints with Japan, the first as an assistant coach in 1996 and then again from 2012 to 2015 as the national team’s head coach.
Since re-taking the reins with Australia earlier this year, Jones has gone 1-6 at the helm. His sole victory in charge came against Georgia in their second group-stage game. However, his side would follow this up with a 22-15 loss to Fiji in their next fixture.
However, Rugby Australia chief executive Phil Waugh told the Herald that Jones informed him that there was “nothing in” the reports. “I take people at their word and Eddie’s said there’s nothing in it,” said Waugh.
“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.” Jones’s assistant Jason Ryles has also come out and stated that he would be surprised if the 63-year-old left the Wallabies.
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“I see his vision beyond the World Cup and it’s one of those things where he hasn’t said anything to us, obviously,” Ryles said. “Basically, watch this space. There is a big job ahead for the next four years with the Wallabies, which he’s started already. He’s got some pretty good foundations down.
“To walk away from that would be a bit of a surprise because there is a lot of green shoots for the future. I’m not too sure what he’ll do to be honest with yo u. It’s good to have options by the sounds of it.”
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