Japan boss Eddie Jones open to England job offer

England investigated for alleged breach of ‘communications protocol’

Japan’s head coach Eddie Jones would be interested in the England job. Photograph: Getty Images

Japan’s head coach Eddie Jones would be interested in the England job. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Eddie Jones is open to an approach from the Rugby Football Union about coaching England but thinks incumbent Stuart Lancaster deserves a fair review first, the Japan coach said on Monday.

The former Australia coach, who engineered Japan‘s stunning upset of South Africa last month, has been touted in the media as a candidate to replace Lancaster after England failed to qualify for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.

Jones signed a deal to coach the Cape Town-based Stormers in Super Rugby less two weeks ago but said becoming England‘s first foreign coach was appealing.

“If England approached me, would I listen to them? Of course I would, but whether the RFU part ways with Stuart Lancaster is a big and difficult decision,“ he wrote in a column in the Daily Mail.

“A proper review is needed to find out why they changed strategy halfway through the tournament.

“A lot of time has been invested in to Lancaster and his squad have enormous potential, so he needs to convince the board that he can take those youngsters forward to 2019.“

Mistakes

Second Captains

Jones, who coached Australia to the 2003 World Cup final and was an advisor to South Africa when they won the tournament in 2007, said it had been an error to dump outhalf George Ford for Owen Farrell for the second match against Wales.

“(Lancaster) must show ... that he will learn from his mistakes and, if he can‘t do that, I think he should go,“ Jones added.

“There will be a lot of contenders queuing up for his job, but it‘s a case of deciding what they want and then finding that person.“

RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie said on Sunday there would be no knee-jerk decisions over Lancaster‘s future.

Jones said he thought Dean Richards and Jim Mallinder were the pick of the domestic candidates and that South Africa‘s 2007 World Cup winning coach Jack White would probably be interested if England went international in their search.

New Zealand assistant Wayne Smith would not be attracted by the post, he thought, while the prospect of a return for 2003 World Cup winner Clive Woodward in a supervisory role would create an intriguing dynamic if Jones took the job.

“A double act between Clive and myself would be interesting!“ he said of his old sparring partner from 12 years ago.

“It‘s not the sort of job I‘ll go out chasing, but I‘d certainly chat to them if they thought I was the right man for the role.“

Breach

Meanwhile England’s coaching team are being investigated by World Rugby for an alleged breach of the “match-day communications protocol” during their World Cup defeat by Australia on Saturday, the governing body said on Monday.

“World Rugby is investigating an alleged breach by the England coaching team of the match-day communications protocol between match officials and team members or union officials during the Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool A match between England and Australia at Twickenham on 3rd October,” World Rugby said in a statement.

“The protocol prohibits certain conduct on match days including coaches approaching match officials during a match or at halftime during a match.”

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