Eddie Jones has given the strongest indication yet he is keen to take on the Japan coaching job for a second time, admitting he’s “definitely interested”.
Jones departed the Australian post only nine months into his five-year deal after overseeing the Wallabies’ shambolic World Cup campaign, with the side failing to make the quarter-finals for the first time and him recording just two wins from nine Tests on his return.
Eddie Jones teases he will be back in a rugby coaching job ‘very shortly’Read more
Their France campaign was rocked early when Jones was forced to deny he had interviewed online for the Japan coaching vacancy and insisted he was fully committed to seeing Australia through to a home World Cup in 2027.
However he walked away from the role late last month, blaming Rugby Australia for not having the finances to usher through changes he believed were required for success.
Last week, while at the helm of the Barbarbians invitational team against Wales, the 63-year-old confirmed he would soon return to coaching. “A hundred per cent, hundred per cent …very shortly, very shortly,” he said.
Now in Japan on holidays with his wife, Jones has told local media he would jump at the chance to again coach the Brave Blossoms and said rugby in Japan had “always been like my passion”.
He is still highly regarded in the country after coaching Japan to an historic victory over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup and holds a consulting position with heavyweights Suntory Sungoliath.
Jones insisted he still did not have a job offer.
“I’ve had no offer, let’s be clear,” Jones told Kyodo News. “If they [Japan] came to me and said are you interested in coaching them, I’d definitely be interested.”
Like Australian rugby, he said Japan needed an overhaul and urged their administrators to be “courageous” heading into a new four-year cycle.
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“Japan can’t stay where they are because if they stay where they are, they’ll actually start to slide. So they’ve got to make a big push now,” the former England mentor said.
“You’re going to have to be courageous, and you’re going to have to do things differently. You can’t just go along and do what you’re doing now, so that’s the reason I would be interested.”
Frans Ludeke, the South African coach of Japan Rugby League One champions Spears Funabashi Tokyo Bay, is also believed to be in the running for the national job.