Eddie Jones admits to pre-Rugby World Cup Zoom call but denies treachery

Colin Newboult
Former England and Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones.

Former England and Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones.

Eddie Jones insists that he only had one formal interview for the Japan role and that it came after he left his job with the Wallabies.

That was despite meeting with a “recruitment agency” while still in charge of the Australian national team prior to the Rugby World Cup.

It was reported in September that Jones held a Zoom interview on August 25, two days before the Wallabies’ World Cup warm-up with France.

The 63-year-old has been asked several times since whether there was a meeting, but he consistently denied speaking to the Japan Rugby Football Union.

Jones take on the infamous Zoom call

On Thursday, upon his unveiling as the Brave Blossoms’ new boss, Jones changed his tune slightly by stating that a Zoom call did take place, but that it was not an interview.

Instead, according to the ex-England head honcho, it was to discuss his previous experience in the job, which would help the JRFU frame their search for Jamie Joseph’s successor.

“I didn’t do an interview before the World Cup,” he said. “I was asked by the recruitment agency to share my experiences with them.

“The first interview I had with Japan was in December and that’s the only interview I’ve had.”

Jones remained adamant that his only interview came last week, after he departed his role as the Wallabies’ head coach.

He therefore denies that there was any betrayal of trust and that he can remain guilt-free, insisting that his only disappointment was the results the team had.

“I gave everything I could for that short period of time and it wasn’t good enough…I wish Australia all the best,” he said.

“I feel terrible about the results in Australia, I wanted to go back and change Australia so I feel terrible. I don’t feel any guilt at all about this process…

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I can’t control their opinion. All I can control is what I did and it sits well with me. I don’t have a problem with it.

“If people feel like that, that’s their judgement, I can’t control that.”

Reason for departure

Jones also reiterated that the reasons for his exit just 10 months into a five-year deal was down to issues within Rugby Australia, who did not have the resources to support his plan.

“With Australia I signed for five years and we had a plan to take them to two World Cups,” Jones said. “There were things that needed to happen in Australia to change the system we had.

“I agreed with the chairman on a plan on what we were going to do to do that, they needed finances to change the system.

“After one year there was a break in my contract with Australia Rugby on whether they could fulfil those commitments.

“I felt without them being able to fulfil those commitments we wouldn’t be able to develop talent to the fullest extent and I decided then I wanted to move on.”

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