Eddie Jones says he had to resign as Australia head coach after just nine months in the role, saying the “whole system needs changing” after “20 years of unsuccessful rugby”.
Rugby Australia accepted the resignation of Jones a matter of months into a five-year contract after the Wallabies’ pool-stage World Cup exit. The former England head coach returned for a second spell in charge of his home nation in January this year, replacing Dave Rennie, and signed an A$4.5m (£2.35m) deal with Rugby Australia.
However, a winless Rugby Championship campaign followed by going out of this year’s World Cup in the pool stage for the first time and suffering a shock defeat to Fiji in the process led to Jones departing the position, confirmed for November 25. Speaking to media on Wednesday as coach of the Barbarians ahead of their clash vs Wales in Cardiff this Saturday, Jones said his only option was to resign from the role.
“Well as you know I’ve resigned. Post the World Cup there was always going to be a decision to be made whether we could change Australian rugby or not,” Jones said.
“I went in with a plan, had a commitment from Rugby Australia of what that looked like, and when the unity of where we were going wasn’t the same – and it wasn’t for lack of desire from Rugby Australia, there are other forces at play – then the only thing I could do was resign.
“Obviously the results were disappointing, but I went in there with a plan to change Australian rugby, which not only involves the team but the system to put it together.
“When you’ve had 20 years of unsuccessful rugby, it’s because something is wrong in the system. And the system needs to change.
“We went in with a plan of how we wanted to change the system, and it’s unable to be changed so I felt like my job would be compromised for the next four years, which I wasn’t prepared to do.
“I’m going to have a bit of a break, and then we’ll take it from there.”
Jones: I wouldn’t be interested in coaching British and Irish Lions at all | ‘Never believe Warren Gatland!”
In the week that Wales head coach Warren Gatland announced he will not be putting his name forward to coach the British and Irish Lions for their tour to Australia in the summer of 2025, having led them on the last three tours, Jones was asked whether the role would be of interest to him.
The 63-year-old first quipped to media not to believe Gatland’s announcement, before somewhat surprisingly revealing in outright terms he would not be interested. “Never believe what Warren [Gatland] says. That’s the one thing you guys should know!” Jones said.
“No I wouldn’t be interested at all. I’ve moved on from the northern hemisphere, I had my go with England. I loved coaching England, I wouldn’t want to be involved with the Lions, not at all.”
When asked again whether taking the Lions on a tour to Australia would really not prove ‘irresistible’, Jones replied again: “Not at all.”
Source: Sky Sports