Eddie Jones is in talks with the Rugby Football Union about becoming the England’s next head coach, and the first from overseas. The 55-year-old Australian is understood to have flown into London yesterday to speak to RFU officials.
The English govening body said it wouldn’t be commenting on speculation regarding Jones, who coached Australia to the Rugby World Cup final in 2003, and led Japan to three pool wins at the recent tournament – including a stunning 34-32 victory over South Africa that ranks as arguably the greatest upset in rugby.
England are looking for a coach with international experience to replace Stuart Lancaster, who was fired after the team became the first host nation to fail to advance from the pool stage of a World Cup.
Jones has just started a stint in charge of the Stormers in Super Rugby, so the RFU would have to agree to a compensation package with the South African franchise for his release.
Stormers director of rugby Gert Smal told South Africa’s Sport24: “Western Province Rugby is aware of the speculation regarding Eddie Jones’s future. No further comment will be made until we have final clarity on the situation.”
Australia captain Stephen Moore, who presided over a 33-13 victory over England at Twickenham en route to leading the Wallabies to last month’s World Cup final, was given his international debut by Jones in 2005.
He believes Jones would be a good appointment for England. “Eddie is very thorough and always brings a lot of attention to detail,” said Moore.
“He looks at different sports and different teams to see what they do well, making sure that whatever team he’s in charge of is at the forefront of the way things are done in sport.
“He’s a very professional coach and knows what it takes to win. He’ll have an idea of how he’ll want England to play.
“Eddie’s like a global citizen. He’s coached all around the world. He’s a very professional guy and he won’t see nationality as an issue at all.”
Jones was brought in to strengthen South Africa’s coaching team for the 2007 World Cup, playing an advisory role during a campaign that finished with the Springboks lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time.
Bakkies Botha, a seasoned international with 85 caps who played throughout France 2007, also views Jones as a wise appointment.
“Eddie played a bigger role in 2007 than people realise,” said Botha.
“He brought calmness to the backline and gave a lot of confidence to the players, bringing the best out of them. He’s the type of guy who has a big relationship with players and you know what he expects. He’s an awesome human being and coach.”