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Eddie Jones Returns as Coach of Brave Blossoms Amid Accusations the Hiring Process was Rigged

Speaking in Tokyo, Eddie Jones denied reports he spoke to Japan Rugby Football Union officials while he was still under contract with Australia.



Eddie Jones
Newly appointed Japan rugby national team head coach Eddie Jones attends a news conference on December 14, 2023, in Tokyo. (Issei Kato/REUTERS)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Eddie Jones Returns as Coach of Brave Blossoms Amid Accusations the Hiring Process was Rigged

Eddie Jones is back for a second stint as the head coach of Japan's national rugby team, but it comes amid accusations he spoke to the Japan Rugby Football Union while he was still under contract with Australia.

The Japan Rugby Football Union announced on Wednesday, December 13 it has hired Jones to replace the departing Jamie Joseph.

Jones, who previously coached Japan from 2012 to 2015, will take up the post on January 1, 2024, and guide the Brave Blossoms through the 2027 Rugby World Cup in his native Australia.

At a press conference on Thursday, Jones, 63, denied he had an interview for the Japan job before the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France where Australia failed to advance from the pool stage for the first time.

"I didn't do an interview before the World Cup," Jones said in Tokyo, according to the Sydney Morning Herald

Jones added, "I was asked by the recruitment agency to share my experiences with them on Japan. Some people might have construed that as an interview but it wasn't. The first interview I had with Japan was in December. That's the only interview I had." 


Jones handed in his resignation to Australia rugby officials in October despite having a five-year contract with the Wallabies. The World Cup ran from September 8 to October 28.

Criticism of Eddie Jones in Australia

His decision to take the Japan job has been met with criticism back home. 

"My thoughts on this whole saga is that he lied," former All Blacks great Sonny Bill Williams told Australian broadcaster Channel Nine. "Obviously he lied to the players, he lied to the public, he lied to the Australian rugby union. What a disgrace."

Frans Ludeke, the South African coach of Japan Rugby League One reigning champion Kubota Spears, was one of the three candidates interviewed by the Japan Rugby Football Union, according to Kyodo News.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Jim Armstrong

The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles on SportsLook.


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