Sonny Bill Williams calls Eddie Jones ‘a disgrace’ who ‘obviously lied’ to Australia’s players and fans

David Skippers
Sonny Bill Williams and Eddie Jones image 2023.jpg

Former All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams and Japan's new head coach Eddie Jones.

All Blacks legend Sonny Bill Williams launched a scathing attack on newly appointed Japan head coach Eddie Jones, saying he is a “disgrace” who “obviously lied” to the Australian players and their fans.

The Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) announced Jones’ appointment on Wednesday, a mere six weeks after the Australian resigned from his job as Wallabies head coach following a poor showing at the Rugby World Cup in France where they failed to advance to the global showpiece’s knockout rounds for the first time in their history.

Denied rumours he was in talks with Japan

Jones had repeatedly denied stories that he has been speaking to the JRFU, after it was reported in September that he held a Zoom interview with the governing body on August 25.

It is not the first time that Williams has criticised Jones’ behaviour.

The former New Zealand centre slammed Jones’ decision to omit vastly experienced players like Michael Hooper, Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley from his World Cup squad and he also questioned the coach’s character when he denied that he was in contact with the JRFU ahead of Australia’s World Cup campaign.

And Williams couldn’t hide his displeasure when asked to comment on the JRFU appointing the 63-year-old, who is set for his second stint as Brave Blossoms coach after previously coaching the team from 2012 to 2015.

“My thoughts on this whole saga is that he lied,” Williams told Nine’s Wide World of Sports. “Obviously he lied to the players, he lied to the public, he lied to the Australian rugby union.

“What a disgrace. I guess that’s my first point.”

Jones replaced Dave Rennie as Australia’s head coach at the start of the year but his track record during that time was poor as the Wallabies won just two out of nine Tests during that period.

This, after he was sacked from his position as England’s head coach at the end of 2022.

“Second point would be, I feel sorry for Japan. His track record speaks for itself,” said Williams.

‘He’s burned a lot of bridges’

“I’m a big believer in the proof is in the pudding and what is his proof? His proof is he’s been fired, sacked from England in the last few years. He’s burned a lot of bridges.

“I actually feel sorry for Japan that they believe this guy is gonna take them somewhere where his track record shows that he hasn’t been able to do. It seems like he’s a little bit out of touch with what’s going on.

“I guess I’m just speaking from an ex-player’s point of view. I could never believe in someone that I knew was pretty much full of crap.

“Japanese culture is all built on respect, loyalty, things that he’s shown that he’s not about.”

READ MORE: Eddie Jones confirmed as Japan head coach despite some JRFU reservations