Eddie Jones given tense grilling in awkward Japan press conference exchange with journalist

Eddie Jones has been grilled by an Australian journalist for allegedly having an interview with the Japanese Rugby Federation while still head coach of the Wallabies.

In France, Australia suffered their worst-ever Rugby World Cup result. For the first time ever, Jones’ team lost to Warren Gatland’s Wales 40–6, and they were eliminated from the group stage.

The Australian media relentlessly pursued the 63-year-old after the game over the rumors that he had attended an August 25 interview with the JRFU. Among the journalists that day with the guts to take the charismatic coach on was Tom Decent. Jones declared that he was “100%” dedicated to coaching Australia, even threatening to leave the press conference.

Jones left his position with Australia almost three months later and took the helm as head coach of the Brave Blossoms. At the unveiling in Tokyo, Decent from The Sydney Morning Herald fired some questions at him.

“Konnichiwa, Eddie,” he started. “Congratulations on the role. You’ve denied links to this job all year, I think more than a dozen times. Can we just clarify when you first made contact with the JRFU and do you feel the need to apologise to Wallabies fans before the World Cup?”

Jones retorted: “Well, I didn’t do a interview before the World Cup. I was asked by the recruitment agency to share my experiences with them of Japan. Some people might have construed that as an interview. It certainly wasn’t an interview.

“The first interview I had with Japan was in December, and that’s the only interview I have had.”

“As we’ve spoken about before I had a plan of what we needed to do to change Australian rugby and we weren’t able to do that, Rugby Australia weren’t able to help support that so I decided to move on. I wish Australia all the best.

“I feel terrible mate. But I don’t feel any guilt at all about this process and I know you’ve been banging the drum fairly strongly on this, but I haven’t had an interview until December.”

“Why were you being a little loose with the truth there? On October 13, you claimed that you hadn’t spoken to any recruiters or anything like. The chairman of the JRFU last night confirmed that you had spoken to them before to the World Cup. Do you really think that people in Australia assume that you had your first interview with Japan only last week?

“Well, I’m not sure what they need to believe, mate,” Jones retorted. All I can say is that I only had one interview with Japan, which was in December.”

Decent posted on X, the original name for Twitter, stating that applications for the position ended on August 18. Every other applicant had two interviews, right? Eddie completed just one? A week and a half ago?JRFU chairman admitting that Jones spoke to recruiters? To recommend someone for the job? “Pick me!!!” #firstinterview”

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