Eddie Jones

Former Wallaby suggests why Jones really attended Sydney Sevens

The legendary coach was seen speaking with fans on Day Three of the World Series leg in Sydney, as he walked along the sideline of the hallowed turf of Allianz Stadium.

Rugby Australia made the bold decision earlier this month axe coach Dave Rennie eight months out from this year’s World Cup in France, and replace him with Eddie Jones.

Jones, who coached the Wallabies to a World Cup Final in 2003, is coming off an unsuccessful campaign with England – having been sacked by the RFU following the Autumn Nations Series.

Eddie Jones addresses Quade Cooper's Wallabies future

The incoming Australian coach has five Tests and eight months to figure out his preferred World Cup squad after Dave Rennie was sensationally axed on Monday.

Rennie himself was still tinkering, particularly in the spine, with a 44-man squad in camp last week not including veteran five-eighths James O’Connor or Bernard Foley.

Japan-based Cooper was there on the Gold Coast alongside young Super Rugby Pacific pair Ben Donaldson (Waratahs) and Noah Lolesio (Brumbies).

Eddie Jones: 'Plenty of time' to make Wallabies a RWC threat

"I think we've got plenty of time," Jones said on Nine's Today Show after Monday's shock announcement of his return to coach Australia, at Dave Rennie's expense.

"(1991 World Cup-winning coach Dwyer) always used to say, 'if you can't change a team in a week, you can't coach'.

"We've got more than a week, so let's hope I can coach."

Still in England, Jones will return to begin in his role later this month and also run the women's Wallaroos program, the five-year deal set to carry him through a British and Irish Lions' visit in 2025 and a home World Cup in 2027.

Pointers for NZ Rugby as Wallabies welcome back Jones

That was a few days before Jones's England side famously beat the All Blacks in a World Cup semifinal, dumping them out of the tournament.

Because of the All Blacks' and England's scarcity of fixtures, Jones didn't get another chance to have a dig at New Zealand till late last year, when somehow his side came back from 25-6 down with 10 minutes left to tie the scores at fulltime. Had Marcus Smith not sent one conversion wide, it would have been remembered as one of the greatest English victories ever.

Rugby Australia reportedly held secret talks with Eddie Jones 14 months before $4.5m Wallabies deal

On Monday morning, Dave Rennie was sacked as Wallabies coach following an underwhelming three-year stint as national mentor — his win percentage of 38.24 was the lowest of any Wallabies coach with more than 30 Tests.

Jones was unveiled as Rennie’s replacement, set to lead the Wallabies through to the 2027 World Cup on home soil. He officially starts the new role on January 29.

Wallabies bombshell as Dave Rennie sacked, Eddie Jones new coach in ‘major coup’

Jones has signed a five-year deal and will start on January 29, with Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan confirming the news in a statementon Monday morning.

“It is a major coup for Australian Rugby to have the best coach in the world return home to coach the iconic Wallabies and to oversee the Wallaroos program,” McLennan said.

“Eddie’s deep understanding of our rugby system and knowledge of our player group and pathways will lift the team to the next level.

Eddie Jones won't be joining Wallabies before World Cup

Reuters reports Australian Jones, who led the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final, has been linked with various roles at Rugby Australia since he was sacked by England in December.

"It's not going to happen," New Zealander Rennie told reporters, later adding: "It's not going to happen before the World Cup.

"We've had no discussions around changes to the coaching group ... what happens beyond 2023 is another matter."

Jones was equally blunt in an interview with the Guardian on Friday when he was asked whether he would be interested in working under Rennie.

'I thought it was coming,' Jones says after England sacking

Jones was sacked by the Rugby Football Union earlier this month following a year in which England won only five of their 12 tests. He was replaced by former captain Steve Borthwick.

Jones, who helped England win three Six Nations titles and led them to the 2019 World Cup final during his seven years at the helm, said he could "feel the change in the wind".

"When you have been coaching for a while you feel when your support is starting to wane and I knew we had to have good results in the autumn," the 62-year-old told the BBC.

England rugby appoint Borthwick to replace Eddie Jones

The 43-year-old, who worked under Jones with Japan and later England, was the strong favourite to take up the position after the Australian's sacking and leaves his role as head coach of Premiership club Leicester Tigers.

"I'm deeply honoured to be appointed England head coach and I am very excited by the challenge," said Borthwick, who has signed a five-year contract with the RFU.

"The English game is full of talent and I want to build a winning team which makes the most of our huge potential and inspires young people to fall in love with rugby union the way I did."

Jones and Hansen to face off again

Jones was sacked by England earlier this month after a poor run of form.

"I'm very much looking forward to returning to Twickenham Stadium - a venue I have so many fond memories of," said Jones.

"I'm more motivated than ever to put on a show."

The World XV will be overseen by former All Blacks coach Hansen, against whom Jones and England achieved a 2019 World Cup semi-final victory.

"Going up against Steve rekindles a great rivalry which first started in our days competing in Super Rugby and progressed into the international arena," added Jones.