Eddie Jones expected to quit Australia and ‘return to Japan’ after World Cup

The head coach oversaw the Wallabies’ first-ever World Cup pool stage exit in France

Harry Latham-Coyle
Thursday 12 October 2023 08:30 BST
Eddie Jones loses patience with reporters over constant questions about Japan job interview

Eddie Jones is set to seal a return to Japan, a report has claimed, as speculation intensifies over the Wallabies coach’s future.

The veteran coach returned to Australia at the start of 2023 but has endured a difficult start to his second stint in charge, culminating in a first-ever pool stage exit from a men’s Rugby World Cup.

A young Wallabies squad were beaten by Fiji and Wales in Pool D, with the Pacific Islanders’ losing bonus point against Portugal on Sunday sufficient to seal an early departure for Jones’s side.

The squad was unsettled by a report in the Sydney Morning Herald alleging that Jones had held a secret meeting with the Japanese Rugby Football Union (JRFU) just a fortnight before the tournament began.

Japan coach Jamie Joseph has left his role, leaving a vacancy in a position Jones previously filled between 2012 and the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

While the former England coach insisted he was “committed to Australia” after the 40-6 thrashing by Wales, a report in the Japanese media now suggests he may be edging closer to succeeding Joseph.

Sponichi, a sports newspaper also known as Sports Nippon, has suggested that a deal that will confirm Jones’s return could soon be announced.

“This spring, Masato Tsuchida, president of the Japan RFU, with whom he has had a honeymoon relationship since his days at Suntory, contacted him,” the report said. “Contract negotiations have been held privately behind the scenes and preparations are under way for his first return since the 2015 World Cup, at which he led them to a historic three wins.”

Phil Waugh, chief executive of Rugby Australia, said during the tournament that Jones had denied taking part in an interview with the JRFU, while Jones hit out at journalists after the line of questioning was pursued in a press conference.


“I don’t know what you’re talking about, mate,” Jones replied when asked about the Sydney Morning Herald’s report.

“I really take umbrage at the questioning, that people are questioning my commitment to coaching Australia. I’ve been working non-stop since I came in and I apologise for the result. You want to keep going down that line, I’ll excuse myself.”

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