Eddie Jones’ Post-Australia Odyssey: Three International Landing Spots

Eddie Jones’ time as Australia’s head coach came and went like a sparkler—it flared brightly at first but rapidly went out of control.

For the first time in their history, the Wallabies crashed out of the World Cup in the group stages, capping off a journey full of promise and optimism.

Following that humiliation, Jones submitted his letter of resignation having only won twice in nine games—against Georgia and Portugal.

The 63-year-old firmly feels he has learned a lot from these setbacks and still has a lot to offer the global stage despite that appalling record.

In typical Jones fashion, he also leveled criticism at Rugby Australia, saying the body should have learned from South Africa, which, despite years of internal unrest, now has a strong provincial structure in the URC with a steady stream of talent rising through the ranks.

In contrast, the Super Rugby participating Australian provinces are still having difficulties.

Despite Jones’ adoration for the Springboks, Rassie Erasmus has stated he would remain the South Africa head coach, so he shouldn’t anticipate a job offer from them anytime soon.

So where is Eddie Jones likely to end up?


Japan is the most apparent call. Jones has experience there, having led the national team to their biggest ever victory—a surprise victory over the Springboks at the 2015 World Cup—while coaching them from 2012 to 2015.

When it was reported in September that Jones had communicated with national team representatives just prior to the commencement of this year’s World Cup, rumors of a return to Japan first surfaced.

Although the Australian coach vehemently refuted these comments, he has now acknowledged that he would be more than happy to rejoin the Brave Blossoms.

Of course I want to be a coach. Though discussions happen, I haven’t had any official conversations. I’ve had a few other countries approach me, so I would hope that by January I’ll be working again,” he told The Australian newspaper. “If Japan did come knocking, I would absolutely chat to them.”

With Frans Ludeke also in the running, Jones is reportedly the front-runner for the Japan position. Jamie Joseph, who has been managing the national team since 2016, will leave big shoes to fill after guiding Japan to a historic World Cup quarterfinal on home soil in 2019.


Jones has been given a good idea of where he may land if he were to travel outside of Japan.

“A European club is interested,” he added. Though there are a few front-runners, Georgia being the most prominent, it is still unknown who that would be. This comes after Levan Maisashvili, their head coach, announced his resignation.

Maisashvili had stated he was remaining put for five days prior to this revelation, so while the resignation was unexpected, it wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary.

This is due to Georgia’s poor performance during the World Cup, which included them not winning a single match and earning the majority of their points from draws with Portugal.

The Eastern Europeans had their finest season to date just a year ago. They defeated Wales and Italy in a matter of months, recording their first victories over a Tier 1 country. In addition, they have trounced Tier 2 opponents, taking home five European Rugby Championship titles in the previous five years.

The Georgian Rugby Union is now entrusted with selecting the most suitable coach to bring the squad back to life and restore the growth trajectory that the country had before the World Cup.

That is the role of Eddie Jones. Having coached England in the Six Nations for many years, he has first-hand knowledge of European rugby, which offers him a distinct advantage in the fight for Georgia’s admittance into the northern hemisphere league.

It’s a long-shot, but with Jones at the helm, anything can happen.


Portugal is another European country that might make an approach. This occurs weeks after Patrice Lagisquet, who resigned from his position immediately following the World Cup, was replaced as head coach by Sebastien Bertrank, who offered his resignation.

Due to scheduling conflicts between the work and his other role at the French Ministry of Sport, Bertrank left the company.

It’s a disorganized situation, but that might work to Portugal’s advantage because Bertrank’s additional responsibilities indicate that the Portugal Rugby Federation is determined to build on the World Cup’s accomplishments, which included their first-ever tournament victory against Fiji and an unexpected draw with Georgia.

Although the pressure on Bertrank was too much, Jones might find it an enticing offer given his worldwide expertise and ability to lead the country into a new age. Of course, winning the European Rugby Championship would be the main objective, and Eddie Jones is currently in the best position to assist Portugal in achieving that objective.


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