Eddie Jones set to be named as Japan head coach after all – report

Dylan Coetzee
Eddie Jones before Barbarians' clash with Wales in 2023.

Japan's new head coach Eddie Jones.

Former England and Australia boss Eddie Jones is reportedly set to be named as Japan’s head coach for a second time, despite denying links to the job for several months.

Jamie Joseph confirmed in July that he would be stepping down from his role as head coach of Japan after the 2023 Rugby World Cup, opening the door for speculation around who would succeed him.

Denied interview rumours

Naturally, Jones emerged as a top candidate in the eyes of the Japan Rugby Football Union having been in the head coach role between 2012 and 2015.

Reports suggested he had an online meeting with the union just before the World Cup in France despite being in charge of Australia at the time. The coach has consistently denied that the interview took place.

The World Cup would end up being a disaster for the veteran coach as the Wallabies failed to make it out of the pool stage for the first time in history after some bold selection decisions did not go the way he would have hoped.

Soon after the tournament, Jones resigned from the post with a 22% win rate in his second tenure that lasted less than a year.

Memorable figure for Japanese rugby

Jones has strong links to the country through his wife, who is Japanese, and lives in the country, as well as his mother who is Japanese-American.

The coach has also had a long-term association with Suntory Sungoliath as an advisor.

His time in charge of the Brave Blossoms was memorable with Jones guiding the team to their most famous win against the Springboks in the 2015 World Cup – a game dubbed ‘The Miracle of Brighton’.

It is that same victory that has made him a favourite for the role, which is set to be confirmed next week pending the approval of the union’s board, according to sports newspaper Sponichi.

READ MORE: Eddie Jones has second Japan interview while ex-Springboks coach also in the running – report