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Eddie Jones teases he will be back in a rugby coaching job ‘very shortly’

The irrepressible Eddie Jones has promised he’ll be back in a rugby job “very shortly” as he left the scene of his latest losing coaching role in Cardiff.

Jones could not resist the teasing response as he scooted away from the Principality Stadium on Saturday night (Sunday AEDT), having just led the Barbarians to a 49-26 defeat in a one-off coaching gig, just five days after quitting the Australia job.

Asked whether the rugby world would see him back in another job, perhaps another national team role again, following the Barbarians’ thumping defeat by Wales, the 63-year-old responded: “A hundred per cent, hundred per cent … very shortly, very shortly.”

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Jones’s name has been consistently linked with a role with Japanese rugby, where he was once the national team coach, but he again denied earlier in the week that he had had any job interviews or offers.

But at the end of a dramatic week which started with him walking away from Australia and ended with him reuniting with 10 Wallaby Barbarians in another defeat by Wales, Jones did have some brief parting words of encouragement for the team he had left behind.

There were eight of his World Cup squad in the Baa Baas team, and they largely all performed with distinction in Saturday’s non-cap international in a 49-26 defeat, reminding Jones of the potential he was walking away from.

Had it been a bittersweet day, working again with them? “No, it’s a different thing, different role, different relationship, but you just want to see them do well,” said Jones.

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“And they did very well. I think Tom Hooper showed he’s going to be a real player of the future. And [Angus] Bell’s going to be a player, he’ll be a world XV player.”

His praise echoed the theme of his pre-match observations that Australian rugby will rise again.

“They’ll be alright, mate,” he said of the future Wallabies. “Those players are going to be much better because they’ve had experience, they’ve had a tough World Cup campaign and sometimes you need that.

“It’s given them a bit more resilience, a bit more work ethic, and there’s good young players there, so I think they’ll be fine, mate.”

And would they be competitive when the British and Irish Lions come visiting in 2025?

“It’ll be huge, be huge. Australia’s a proud sporting nation and when they’re not doing well, everything’s bad. Not dissimilar to England. But a little bit success and it’ll go up – and the Lions is a huge series. Because it’s like Home and Away, isn’t it? A little soap opera in its own right.”