- Eddie Jones has admitted he is interested in the Japan job
- The former Wallabies boss denied reports of a secret interview
- But he is due for a second interview with Japan bosses in December
Eddie Jones is in line for a 2024 reunion with former side England after he admitted for the first time he would be interested in coaching Japan again.
Jones, sacked by the RFU in December 2022, quit his role as Australia boss last month less than 12 months into a five-year deal.
During the 2023 World Cup in France – where Australia became the first side in the country’s history not to make the quarter-finals – Jones was constantly linked with Japan.
The 63-year-old previously coached the Brave Blossoms between 2012 and 2015.
Jones had always denied any interest in returning to the Far East despite intense speculation he had an interview for the position of succeeding Jamie Joseph.
Eddie Jones has admitted he is ‘definitely interested’ in the Japan coaching job
But on Wednesday, Jones told Kyodo News he would keen on taking on the job.
‘I’ve had no offer, let’s be clear,’ he said after arriving in Tokyo for a holiday with his Japanese wife Hiroko.
‘Japan can’t stay where they are because they’ll actually start to slide.
‘They’ve got to make a big push now. You’re going to have to be courageous and you’re going to have to do things differently. You can’t just go along and do what you’re doing now.
‘So, that’s the reason I would be interested.’
Jones has long held a consultancy role with top Japanese club side Suntory Sungoliath.
MailSport understands that those at Suntory are expecting Jones to be around on a more permanent basis in the months to come. With Jones now seemingly set to stay in Japan, a mouthwatering game between his new side and former employees England next year is now on the cards.
England have already confirmed they will play the Brave Blossoms for the first time on Japanese soil on June 22, 2024, prior to their Test series with World Cup runners-up New Zealand.
MailSport understands that Wales are also exploring the possibility of facing Japan on the way to their slated trip to Australia.
While a Wales and Japan game is not yet a done deal, such a prospect would see Jones go head-to-head with Warren Gatland yet again.
Gatland’s Wales hammered Australia – then coached by Jones – 40-6 at the World Cup. The two also met in Cardiff last weekend when Jones’ Barbarians were beaten by Wales.
The first three weeks of July is the scheduled international window next summer.
At a global rugby summit in San Francisco in 2017, it was planned that the summer of 2024 would see countries play each other in two-match series.
The idea was to limit player workload on the back of this year’s World Cup.
That may yet change, but it does give countries the chance to arrange other fixtures for their fringe players which is why England – and possibly Wales – are interested in games with Japan.
Jones, 63, left the Wallabies last month and is eyeing up the job at the Brave Blossoms
Wales could also face Australia over three Tests rather than two instead of facing Japan.
But at a time when the top international unions are struggling financially, the Brave Blossoms are attractive opposition in a commercial sense.
July 2024 will be the last time European sides travel to the southern hemisphere for traditional tours ahead of the launch of the controversial Nations Championship from 2026.
TNT Sports has agreed a multi-year deal to broadcast Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby, starting with the 2023-24 season. It is a huge boost for the women’s game in England.