Eddie to reveal his new gig 'very shortly'
SPOTLIGHT: 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.
Having just led the Barbarians to a 49-26 defeat in a one-off coaching gig, just five days after quitting the Australia job, Jones couldn’t resist teasing the media with his latest phrase at the Principality Stadium on Saturday.
AAP reported that Jones was 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 in which the 63-year-old responded on the run: “A hundred percent, hundred percent … very shortly, very shortly.”
Pressed further, he just scuttled off to the team coach, grinning.
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’d left behind.
There were eight of his World Cup squad in the BaaBaas team, and they largely all performed with distinction in Saturday’s non-cap international in a 26-49 defeat, reminding Jones of the potential he was walking away from.
#ICYMI: Speculation on the future of South Africa’s Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus on Sunday spread like wildfire – despite no formal confirmation or denial. 👇#RWC2023 #SouthAfrica #Springboks https://t.co/Y9KTKYXYTZ
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) November 6, 2023
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.
“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 gonna 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.”
A bit like his own endlessly fascinating career, Jones might have added.