‘No idea, mate’: Jones grilled in tense presser as Wallabies coach doubles down over Japan link

Embattled Wallabies coach Eddie Jones refuted claims he is set to take over Japan and reaffirmed his “intention” to stay with the Australian team until the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

Jones oversaw an embarrassing pool stage exit from the World Cup and as a result left many wondering if he’d be sacked less than a year into the job.

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Despite the horror run of results, Jones insisted he is “not worried” about the prospect of being sacked and believes his polarising team selection has left the Wallabies in a “great position” for 2027.

“I don’t control those things, all I can do is coach,” Jones said.

“Went to the World Cup, came in a short period of time, had to make a decision on the team, made the decision we needed to go with youth.

“Whilst the results of the World Cup weren’t the ones we wanted, I think I’ve left the Australian team in a great position to go onto 2027. That judgment will be decided by the 2027 World Cup.”

As Jones pointed out, his future remains in the hands of Rugby Australia and all parties will sit down for a review of what exactly went wrong during the disastrous World Cup campaign.

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Yet the 63-year-old believes he has the full support of the governing body and preferred to look towards the future.

“We’ve got to do a review and obviously the results are disappointing,” Jones said.

“Everybody’s gutted by it, especially myself.

“But I stand by the decisions we’ve made and I think we’ve left Australian rugby in a better position.”

Amid the horror show in France, bombshell reports emerged Jones had interviewed for the Japan head coaching role and have since claimed he is set to take on the role.

Instead, Jones doubled down on his commitment to the Wallabies.

“Haven’t been speaking to anyone, mate,” Jones said.

“I’ve said that before. I’ve got no idea, mate.”

Jones also claimed he has not spoken to Japanese Rugby Football Union (JRFU) President Masato Tsuchida “for a long time.”

Much was also made of Jones’ selection policy which heavily focused on young players, as veteran stars Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper were left at home.

Jones believed the experience will hold the team in good stead for the next World Cup, but conceded the Wallabies were some way away from the level of teams who made it out of the pool stage in France.

“We just weren’t good enough, mate,” Jones said.

“You’ve just got to watch the quarter finals at the weekend. We’re not at that level and we can’t pretend to be at that level.

“But can we be at that level by 2027? Yes we can.”

Source website: www.foxsports.com.au

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