Australia have to 'break the bank' for Jones
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rugby Australia are being urged to bring back Eddie Jones after the Australian coach engineered another historic World Cup triumph.
New Zealander David Rennie had been tipped to succeed Michael Cheika, but England’s stunning 19-7 win over New Zealand in the World Cup semi-finals has put Jones in the spotlight.
The shock win comes four years after the Australian mentor masterminded Japan’s stunning 34-32 pool triumph over South Africa, dubbed the ‘Miracle of Brighton’.
Jones was also a consultant for South Africa when the Springboks won the World Cup for the second time in 2007 and he led the Wallabies to the 2003 final, somewhat against the odds, where they lost to England.
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Cheika has called for an Australian to follow him and former Wallaby Stephen Hoiles says RA should make every effort to sign Jones.
“If we’re serious about that, if Australian rugby want to find the right man for the job, and it’s everyone’s preference in Australia that that is an Australian, those phone calls have to be made,” he told Fox Sports. “Absolutely, whether he’s on contract or not, that’s a conversation for after the World Cup final.
“But Australian rugby, to go through a genuine review, you have got to cast the net wide and find the best in the world. I’d argue there is not anyone better than him.”
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Former England star Stuart Barnes praised Jones’ for masterminding the victory over the All Blacks. He said England’s relentlessness at the breakdown on Saturday reminded him of Australia in their win over New Zealand in 2003 and Japan in 2015. “He’s done it again,” Barnes said. “It’s a trilogy of great coaching performances.”
However, he warned that RA may not be able to afford to bring back the coach they sacked after a string of losses in 2005. “Eddie Jones has been signed up till 2021 with England so forget that,” Barnes said. “England pay pretty well so if Australia want him, they’re going to have to break the bank.”
Saturday’s momentous win was surprising for Jones, who was humble in victory. “We’ve had two-and-a-half years to prepare for it [the semi-final]. We had been unconsciously preparing a game for this game,” he said.
“When you ingrain habits in your players they are easier to sustain, and we saw some great habits from our players. It’s another week or us. When we flew out on September 8, we wanted to be here at the end and that is where we are at.
“We set out four years ago and we wanted to be the best team in the world. We are not the best team in the world, but we have got an opportunity to play in a game to prove we are, and that is all we are concerned with. We will just take each day as it comes. We have got another week to enjoy it, and that is what we will do.”