Eddie Jones unapologetic over Japanese consultancy role
SPOTLIGHT: England head coach Eddie Jones said on Wednesday he has nothing to apologise over for using some of his holidays in April to fulfil a consultancy role with Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath.
The 61-year-old Australian attracted some criticism for the stint, including from former England coach Clive Woodward after Jones’ side finished second from bottom in the Six Nations, their joint worst performance.
They also finished fifth in 2018 under Jones.
However, Jones has held a consultancy role with Suntory for more than two decades and went there with the blessing of the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
“For 25 years I have always practiced coaching and I had to use my holidays to practice coaching because I love it,” Jones said.
“I get the opportunity to do a little bit of coaching at Suntory and I get the opportunity to work with some of the best players in the world.
“Bob Dwyer, who was the coach who had the foremost influence on my coaching, always said the best players are the best coaches, so find the best players, pick their brains and learn from them.”
Jones received the unconditional backing of the RFU following the underwhelming defence of their Six Nations title.
The former Australia and Japan coach said he hoped what he learned from his consultancy and visiting other clubs would pay off with England.
“I go round clubs to try and pick people’s brains and obviously you share some information,” he said.
“That is the obvious thing – it is information-sharing but very useful.”
Jones has built up a fair amount of credit with the RFU in taking England to the 2019 Rugby World Cup final and three Six Nations titles since he took over following the 2015 World Cup debacle.
However, while he enjoyed the full confidence of the RFU a couple of his backroom coaches left post the Six Nations flop including attack handler Simon Amor.
Amor’s departure will see Jones temporarily fill that vacancy and take a more hands-on approach to coaching, starting with the July Tests against the United States and Canada.
“I haven’t done that [hands on coaching] since 2018 so I am looking forward to that and I have been making sure I have been getting coaching practice in because coaches need practice.”