England coach Eddie Jones has removed himself from the conversation around the next British and Irish Lions coach claiming that both Andy Farrell or Gregor Townsend would be a better fit for the job.
Jones’s contract with England runs its course after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, fueling speculation that the veteran tactician could lead the Lions on the tour of his home country in 2025.
Historically, Lions coaches would usually have experience with one of the four nations that make up the side, as was the case with former England coach Clive Woodward, former Scotland coach Ian McGeechan and the two former Wales coaches Warren Gatland and Graham Henry.
Jones was quick to announce he has no intention of taking up the role when answering Telegraph readers’ questions and instead threw the names of Farrell and Townsend in the mix.
“Respectfully, no. I am an Australian and I don’t really have any connection to the Lions as such,” wrote Jones.
“I think it’d be better for someone from the home countries to do it. I’m also not suited to wearing a blazer 12 months of the year. Someone like Gregor Townsend or Andy Farrell would be better for that job than me.”
Ireland coach Farrell and Scotland mentor Townsend head the list to lead the Lions down under in 2025, having both had experience with the famous touring side.
Townsend orchestrated the Lions’ attack in 2021’s tour to South Africa whilst Farrell joined the side in the 2017 tour of New Zealand and 2013 tour of Australia as a defence coach.
Both Farrell and Townsend are still contracted with their national setups until the 2023 Rugby World Cup meaning the pair will be considered if they decide against extending their current deals.