Johannesburg - With a proven track record as a coach who takes teams to the next level, Eddie Jones is confident he would be able to restore the pride England lost during the last World Cup.
While the host nation failed to make the play-offs, Jones achieved the unthinkable at the tournament when he helped Japan to their first victory over South Africa. That triumph highlighted the tremendous value he can add as a coach and England subsequently offered him a position he described in an interview with World Rugby TV as “the greatest job in world rugby”.
“You (England) have got a domestic competition that is very robust; you have got the talent there; you have got the biggest rugby union in the world; and they haven't had success for a long period of time - you have to go back to 2003 - so it is just too good an opportunity not to take, particularly after the results in the last World Cup,” said Jones.
“There really is a renewed ambition and enthusiasm to do well. It is a dream job.”
From humble beginnings, Jones has coached Australia to a World Cup final, the Brumbies to Super Rugby glory while also achieving great success with Japanese club Suntory. He described his road to the top as one filled with many hurdles.
“When the game went professional in '96 I got offered a job in Japan, at this really weak University (Tokai), and I was supposed to be lecturing in English and coaching in rugby,” Jones said. “I didn't do much lecturing in English but I did do plenty of coaching in rugby!” he said.
“I had 80 players, no assistant coaches, and I used to split them up into three groups and coach them from 3 o'clock in the afternoon until 9 o'clock at night. “It was the best coaching experience in terms of learning how to coach and getting the best out of the team.
“From there I was lucky. A number of guys I played with at Randwick were playing for the Brumbies in the Super Rugby competition and their head coach Rod Macqueen got promoted to coach the Wallabies.
“They obviously put a good word in for me and I ended up getting the Brumbies head coach job. I had four years there and then coached Australia.”
When Jones replaced John Kirwan as Japan head coach at the end of 2012 he was given the brief of leading the Brave Blossoms to Rugby World Cup 2015. Under Jones, Japan put together a record 10-match winning run and reached the dizzy heights of 9th in the World Rugby Rankings. - African News Agency (ANA)