Eddie Jones clarifies comments after hinting at departure following Rugby World Cup

Colin Newboult

Barbarians coach Eddie Jones during a press conference at the Royal Garden Hotel, London. Picture date: Wednesday May 24, 2023.

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones insists that he is in it for the long haul after dropping a bombshell with comments made last week.

Speaking on the Evening Standard Rugby Podcast, the 63-year-old stated that he would depart his role following the World Cup in France, despite signing a contract until 2027.

Stayed too long

“I’m only coaching ’til this World Cup,” Jones told the podcast. “I’ve signed [until the end of 2027], but as I’ve made the mistake before, I’ve stayed too long. If we win the World Cup, it will be time to go. If we lose the World Cup, it will be time to go.”

That remark surprised his employers, Rugby Australia, who were forced to issue a short statement which said: “Eddie’s contract runs until 2027.”

Jones only became head coach of the Wallabies in January after his sacking by the RFU following England’s poor form in 2022.

He replaced Dave Rennie, who finished his tenure as Australia boss with just a 38 per cent win record.

The publicity caused by his comments last week has since led Jones to reach out to the Sydney Morning Herald to clarify his position and reaffirm his commitment to the role.

“I am here for five years,” he told the Herald. “But my only concentration is this Rugby World Cup, so I don’t think past that.”

Run-in to the World Cup

The Wallabies’ preparations for the World Cup begin in earnest in July when they take on South Africa in the Rugby Championship.

They have three matches in total during the annual southern hemisphere tournament, before a second Bledisloe Cup Test with New Zealand and a warm-up international against hosts France.

Australia are not one of the more fancied teams for the World Cup which starts in September, but Jones and his players have talked about doing a ‘smash and grab’ raid on the competition.

The 63-year-old is renowned for making an immediate impact, like he did with England when he took over in 2016, and will hope to do the same with the Wallabies.

READ MORE: Eddie Jones drops bombshell over his future as Wallabies boss