‘I could be teaching, but I’m here,’ says ex-headmaster Eddie Jones ahead of Wallabies’ Wales clash

Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones

FILE - Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones. Photo: Matthieu Mirville/DPPI via AFP

Published Sep 22, 2023


Australia's Eddie Jones says he is not ready to settle for a 9-5 job just yet and still gets a rush from coaching at the Rugby World Cup two decades after taking his first team to the showpiece tournament.

Jones's fifth World Cup campaign is hanging by a thread and although the 63-year-old accepted a loss to Wales on Sunday and a pool-stage exit might cost him his job, he was still excited to be doing it.

"When you coach, you make a choice to put yourself in these positions. If I didn't want to put myself in these positions, I could be teaching," the former headmaster told reporters on Friday.

"I could have a nice life and get up every morning. The wife puts the packed lunch in the bag, put a shirt and tie on, know I'm going to teach six periods, come home, wash the dog, clean the car, watch ... news and then get the packed lunch ready for the next day.

"I could have done that mate. But I made a choice to coach. I love winning and I love it when you've got to try and create a team where everyone thinks they're going to lose to put themselves in a position to win.

"I don't know if it's a drug but that's the rush from coaching mate."

Jones took the Wallabies to the final of the 2003 tournament in his first stint as Australia coach, was an advisor to the Springboks team that won the title in 2007, and led Japan to a huge upset of the South Africans at the 2015 tournament.

At the last tournament in Japan four years ago, his England team beat New Zealand in the semi-finals before losing the final to the Springboks.

His young Australia team's faltering start to this tournament means he is under as much pressure as he has ever been at a World Cup, but Jones said he was relishing even that.

"We've got 10 times more people here than we normally do for an Australian press conference because people smell blood. That makes it even more exciting," he said.

"I just love rugby mate," he added, banging the desk to emphasise his point.

"I love the game, I love trying to get a young group of players together, trying to get them to be the best version of themselves. That's the allure. Then you get to see the game played well. Then it's a real buzz."