Jones says he's not in running for Wallabies job

SYDNEY • England coach Eddie Jones has ruled himself out of replacing the Wallabies' Michael Cheika after this year's World Cup, saying Australia need "generational change".

With Cheika's contract as head coach running out later this year, a search for a successor is under way.

Jones, an Australian, has been widely touted as a potential replacement but he told the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday that he wanted to stay in Europe.

"I am happy in Europe," said Jones, who was in charge of the Wallabies at the 2003 World Cup. "The Wallabies need a generational change in culture."

The newspaper said he could instead take on a role with an emerging nation, such as Georgia or Germany, in a bid to repeat the success he had with Japan in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup.

He is under contract until 2021, but reportedly has a break clause that allows him and the Rugby Football Union to part ways if England fail to reach the semi-finals.

With Jones seemingly out of the running, Wales coach Warren Gatland and Glasgow coach Dave Rennie are seen as the front runners.

Jones' revelation comes as Australia's new director of rugby, Scott Johnson, reportedly ruffled feathers with an aggressive pitch to bring home some of the country's top overseas-based coaches, officials and support staff.

The Herald said he had approached Fiji's strength and conditioning guru John Pryor and unsuccessfully tried to lure attack coach Scott Wisemantel, who is working with Jones at England.

Johnson was recruited to the newly created role from a similar position with Scotland following mounting criticism of Cheika after just four wins from 13 Tests in 2018.

He assumed his job last week and insisted that he and Cheika would be "dynamic".

"You're going to get times where we disagree and that's fine. If you always agree, you've got one too many, haven't you?" he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2019, with the headline 'Jones says he's not in running for Wallabies job'. Print Edition | Subscribe