Eddie Jones relishing potential England World Cup reunion after shock Australia return

Eddie Jones relishing potential England World Cup reunion after shock Australia return

Eddie Jones has admitted feeling “humbled” by his career turning full circle with a second stint coaching his native Australia.

Jones was named Wallabies head coach on Monday, replacing the sacked Dave Rennie in a deal to run until after the 2027 World Cup.

The 62-year-old was sacked by England on December 7 but has quickly jumped back into the Test match cauldron, returning to the Australia helm after his first stint that ran from 2001 to 2005.

Jones’ Australia could come up against his former employers England in the quarter-finals at this year’s World Cup, and the newly-minted Wallabies boss conceded he has already had that possible clash on his mind.

“In coaching there isn’t a pathway, you just try to do as good a job as you can and you keep going in the job until someone tells you that you can’t do it anymore,” said Jones.

“People either offer you a job, or you go looking for a job, and I was lucky enough to be offered this one – but it does potentially close a circle on a coaching career.

Full circle: Eddie Jones is on a possible World Cup collision course with old employers England (PA)
Full circle: Eddie Jones is on a possible World Cup collision course with old employers England (PA)

“It’s been 18 years since I’ve coached Australia, in that time I’ve coached South Africa, Japan and England. And now I get a chance to coach my own country again, so it’s quite humbling.

“I potentially thought that England was going to be my last full-time coaching role, but I’m enjoying it so much still. As long as I’m healthy, fit, energetic and committed, then there’s no reason why you should stop, is there? I love the game.

“A possible England game is something I’ve thought about. It’ll be another game, but another game with a bit of difference, just like coaching England against Australia, or England against Japan.

“They all mean a bit because you’ve had experience with the people in those teams. So there’s always a bit more emotion to it, but nothing over the top.”

Jones has for some time been slated to coach the Barbarians against a World XV at Twickenham on May 28 and confirmed he will honour that commitment.

“I can’t wait to coach the Barbarians again this year, I had that commitment written into my new contract,” said Jones. “It’ll be a great challenge.”

Insisting his new Australia squad can be competitive quickly, Jones continued: “In 2005, that was a difficult time.

“You’re coaching your country and it gets taken away from you, but you move on and just get on with it, then refocus on what you’re doing.

“This Australia team is not too far away. Dave Rennie has done a great job under difficult circumstances, as they were probably more affected by Covid than most countries.

“We’ll need to find a point of difference. That might be going back to that more aggressive, attacking Australian style of rugby, with a more aggressive defence.”

Tickets for the Barbarians vs World XV are on sale now at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians