According to Fox Sports writer Christy Doran England head coach Eddie Jones remains in Rugby Australia's plans to replace Wallabies coach Michael Chieka despite being contracted with England through 2021.
Michael Cheika has said he will step down as Wallabies coach if he doesn’t win the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and according to the report, Rugby Australia will start a formal process to search for his successor this year.
Jones coached the Wallabies from 2001-05 and lost the 2003 World Cup final has led England two Six Nations title since taking over as the England coach post Rugby World Cup 2015, extended his contract with England through till 2021 this year, but the 58-year-old Australian has a break clause in his contract, dependent on England’s performance at the 2019 World Cup.
According to Foxsports.com.au sources Jones, the last Australia coach to win the Bledisloe Cup, has a desire to round out a remarkable career with a return to the Wallabies at some stage.
It is understood that Jones expressed that interest to at least one member of RA’s board, but, failing to gain sufficient traction, decided to move on and extend his lucrative contract with England in January.
RA high performance manager Ben Whitaker is the man tasked with drawing up a post Cheika succession plan and presenting options to chief executive Raelene Castle and the board this year.
“I can’t speak on behalf of the board, but if I’m tasked with pulling together a list of potential candidates, is Eddie Jones on there, yeah he is,” Whitaker told foxsports.com.au.
It is unlikely RA would be able to match Jones’ England salary so a return home would rely on tugging on the Aussie heartstrings.
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