- Jones set to be named as Japan head coach
- Reports indicate news will become public soon
- Jones initially denied links to coaching role
Just six weeks after his dramatic exit from the Wallabies, Eddie Jones is poised to be named as Japan’s new head coach according to several Japanese outlets.
Jones quit as Australia coach in October after a disastrous nine-month stint in charge of his nation, with the Wallabies dumped from the Rugby World Cup at the earliest stage possible, while questions over his loyalty mounted.
The 63-year-old opted for a young squad, snubbing the likes of Michael Hooper, Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley, but their preparations were rocked when reports emerged of a secret meeting with the Japanese federation.
He initially denied that any meeting took place, but has since openly expressed his interest in the vacancy following his departure from Australia.
According to Japanese media and The Sydney Morning Herald, Jones has beaten South Africa’s Frans Ludeke for the top job after a second interview on Thursday.
According to reports, Jones is set to be named as head coach of Japan
Jones initially denied that he had been meeting with Japan for the top job
Jones, who is half-Japanese, previously coached the Brave Blossoms between 2012 and 2015.
His appointment into the new position is expected to be confirmed on December 13 when the board meets.
In another development, former Wallabies manager Chris Webb is also reportedly joining Jones at the JFRU, and recently flew to Japan.
Webb was met at the airport by Japanese press, with Sponichi reporting that Webb had stated: ‘Nothing had been decided yet’.
‘It was revealed on the 8th that Eddie Jones (63), who served in the same position from 2012 to 2015, has been confirmed to return as the next head coach (HC) of the Japan national rugby team,’ the Sponichi website said.
‘If approved by the Board of Directors on the 13th, he will be officially appointed for the first time in eight years,’ Sponichi reported.
‘Regarding the selection of the next head coach, Japan Association President Masato Tsuchida, who has a close relationship with Jones, led the return and made a secret offer to Jones, who had been Australia’s coach this spring.
‘An open call was held in July, with League1 Division 1 Tokyo Bay head coach Fran Rudike and others nominating. Final interviews were held with the two finalists in Tokyo on the 7th.
Jones had a disastrous nine-month stint in charge of his nation
Jones previously coached the Brave Blossoms between 2012 and 2015
‘As originally planned, Mr Jones was selected.’
Rugby Australia have since removed Hamish McLennan as chairman after a torrid 2023, with Daniel Herbert taking over.
The doomed appointment of Jones following the sacking of Dave Rennie in January was seen as a ‘captain’s pick’, although McLennan claimed the move was supported by the board.