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Eddie Jones lashes out in spiky press conference after Australia humiliated by Wales

The Wallabies suffered a record 40-6 defeat to Wales to crash out of the Rugby World Cup but head coach Jones didn’t like journalists’ line of questioning

Luke Baker
in Lyon
Monday 25 September 2023 12:54 BST
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Eddie Jones loses patience with reporters over constant questions about Japan job interview

Australia coach Eddie Jones lashed out at journalists in a spiky post-match press conference following the Wallabies’ record defeat to Wales that saw them crash out of the Rugby World Cup.

Australia were thumped 40-6 in Lyon by a rampant Wales side to all but confirm their exit at the group stage of the World Cup for the first time in their history.

Jones apologised for the record defeat but was unhappy with questions surrounding a report in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier in the day, which claimed Jones was secretly interviewed by Japanese rugby officials just days before the World Cup about taking over as the country’s head coach.

The 63-year-old has four years remaining on his current deal with the Wallabies but The Herald reported he is considering returning to Japan – who he coached from 2012 to 2015.

When asked by a journalist whether he had interviewed with the JRFU for the role, Jones bluntly responded: “I don’t know what you’re talking about mate” and repeated the same answer when later asked if he had a second interview scheduled.

He was then asked whether he could give Wallabies fans his 100 per cent commitment that he won’t be coaching Japan next year and Jones simply replied “I’m committed to coach Australia.” When pressed on whether that included next year, he would only repeat “I’m committed to coach Australia.”

Eddie Jones apologised for Australia’s defeat to Wales

Generally renowned for his press conference outbursts, Jones was fairly restrained until reporters asked captain Dave Porecki – who was doing the press conference alongside his coach – whether the players had been affected by rumours of the flirtation with Japan.

After Porecki suggested the squad weren’t aware of the report, Jones hit back at the line of questioning.

“I really take umbrage at the questioning that people are questioning my commitment to coaching Australia,” he fumed in a spiky exchange. “I really take umbrage at it. I’ve been working non-stop since I’ve come in and I’ve apologised for the result. I keep saying that.

“So to be questioning my commitment to the job, I think is a bit red hot. So we’re not gonna deal with any of those questions any further. I’m happy to talk about Wales, Portugal but if you keep going down that line, I’ll excuse myself. So do you want to decide what you want to do?”

Jones also hinted that the whole of Australian rugby needed an overhaul, rather than the problems beginning and ending with the men’s national team.

“I came back to Australia trying to help,” he said. “At the moment, I’m not getting much help am I? But that doesn’t mean my commitment to them has changed.

“I’m a proud Australian, I hate to see Australian rugby do as poorly as we’re doing, particularly under my reign. It’s not only the Wallabies that we’ve got to improve but it’s the whole system of Australian rugby. That’s not an excuse, we’ve just got to improve the way we’re going about our rugby.”

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