Former CEO of the Australian Rugby Union urges Australian Rugby Chairman to address Japan regarding Eddie Jones’ potential involvement in a coaching vacancy…

The head of Rugby Australia is being encouraged to engage in direct communication with Japan regarding Eddie Jones’ potential involvement in a coaching vacancy.

John O’Neill, former CEO of the Australian Rugby Union, has called upon Hamish McLennan, the Chairman of Rugby Australia, to seek clarity from Japanese officials regarding Eddie Jones’ reported interview for Japan’s head coaching position next year. This move is aimed at resolving the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Wallabies’ coach.

This call for clarity comes after reports from the Sydney Morning Herald disclosed that Eddie Jones participated in a confidential Zoom interview with Japan Rugby Football Union officials shortly before the Rugby World Cup in France, where the Australian team had an underwhelming performance. Jones, who had previously signed a five-year contract with Rugby Australia until 2027, has denied the occurrence of this interview and consistently stated that he is not part of the formal process to become Japan’s Brave Blossoms coach in the upcoming year. Nevertheless, various news outlets in Australia, Japan, and the UK have reported that Jones is scheduled for a second interview in Japan the following month.

Despite a challenging year as Wallabies coach, with seven losses in nine tests and only two victories against tier-two teams, Georgia and Portugal, Jones expressed his desire to continue in the role.

However, Rugby Australia CEO Phil Waugh confirmed that they had not communicated with their Japanese counterparts to ascertain whether Jones had expressed interest in returning to his previous position, which he held from 2012 to 2015.

John O’Neill, in contrast, believes that it is crucial for Rugby Australia to take a more direct approach. He suggests that since many rugby leaders are currently in Paris, this presents an opportune moment for Hamish McLennan, as the chair of Rugby Australia, to engage in a discreet conversation with his Japanese counterpart, Mr. Tsuchida, the President of the Japan Rugby Football Union. Such a conversation would help establish a shared understanding regarding Eddie Jones and his coaching intentions, thus preserving the strong relationship between the two organizations.

O’Neill also suggests that depending on the outcome of this conversation, McLennan might consider sharing relevant information with fans and stakeholders to eliminate the prevailing uncertainty. McLennan and Phil Waugh are currently in France and will return to Australia after the upcoming World Cup final in Paris, which will be held between New Zealand and South Africa. At the time of the article, Hamish McLennan had not provided a comment.

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