Eddie Jones drops bombshell over his future as Wallabies boss

Dylan Coetzee
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones looks on deep in thought

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones has claimed that he will be leaving the side after the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. 

The news comes as a surprise with Jones’ deal signed until the 2027 World Cup which will be hosted in Australia. The prescribed tenure over his contract period would also include the 2025 British & Irish Lions tour down under.

However, Jones seems insistent that he will be leaving his role after the World Cup regardless of their performance.

“It will be time to go”

“I’m only coaching to this World Cup. I’ve signed, but as I’ve made the mistake before, I’ve stayed too long. So we win the World Cup it will be time to go. If we lose the World Cup it will be time to go,” Jones told The Evening Standard podcast.

Rugby Australia (RA) responded swiftly by claiming that Jones is still locked in and they have no concerns that he will leave the job.

“Eddie’s contract runs until 2027,” the RA spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Meanwhile, Jones is hoping for changes in Giteau’s Law that restricts the coach to selecting only three overseas-based players with a minimum of 30 Test caps. It is designed to incentivise players to remain in Australia and offer reward to locally-based talent.

Jones suggested that even though he has not approached the RA regarding a policy change he believes there will be a good response.

“Can’t snub that sort of talent”

The veteran coach outlined four stars who could not be looked past including gargantuan lock Will Skelton, who has recently added another Champions Cup medal to his collection.

“They [Rugby Australia] had a law called the Giteau Law which was you could only get three players outside Australia with 30 caps,” Jones said.

“But we haven’t tabled that [a policy change] with the board yet, but I’m sure we’re going to get a positive response about more players. Because we’ve got [Will] Skelton, who’s probably the best right-hand-side lock in the world. Richie Arnold at Toulouse, who’s a fantastic player in the Top 14. Quade Cooper, [Samu] Kerevi, [Marika] Koroibete, we can’t snub that sort of talent.”

Big packs are important at Test level

Jones, who coached the Barbarians against a World XV last weekend, outlined the importance of a big pack of forwards in the modern game especially considering the physicality of teams like France and the Springboks.

“You look at the game statistically, 70% of the game is played within one pass, so they’re big man carries,” he said.

“Just yesterday with the Barbarians we had a tighthead prop from the Sharks, [Carlu] Sadie, comes on the second half; he’s got no leg speed but when he carries he takes men with him so it gives you a good base to work off.

“So a big right-hand side lock, big number eight, big number three [is what we need] mate.”

Plenty of time to make a difference

Jones’ second stint with the Wallabies well and truly kicks off against the Springboks at Loftus Versfeld in the Rugby Championship on July 8. Even with the limited time to prepare for a World Cup charge, the veteran is upbeat about his chances to improve the side.

“We’ve got five Tests matches, which is plenty. [World Cup-winning coach] Bob Dwyer used to say if you can’t change a team in a week, you can’t coach. So we’ll give it a go,” he added.

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