Rugby World Cup 2011
Jones keen on Japan job
October 14, 2011
Eddie Jones is eyeing a return to the international arena © Getty Images
Former Wallabies boss Eddie Jones has confirmed his interest in succeeding John Kirwan as Japan head coach.
Kirwan announced on Thursday that he will walk away from the Cherry Blossoms when his contract expires in December, after a disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign in which they failed to win a single game.
The Sankei Sports newspaper quickly installed Jones as the frontrunner to replace the former All Blacks winger, claiming that the Australian's name has already been discussed by the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU).
Jones, who is half-Japanese and currently employed by club side Suntory Sungoliath, has now admitted that he would jump at the chance to take over the national side.
"I would definitely be interested," he told the Daily Yomiuri. "Getting Japan into the world's top 10 is a big task, but is achievable if everyone works together."
Jones first came to prominence by leading the Brumbies to their first Super 12 title, in 2001. He was subsequently charged with the task of overseeing Australia's defence of their Rugby World Cup in 2003 title only to see the Wallabies lose out to England in the tournament decider.
After losing his job two years later, he took up an advisory role with Saracens before then returning to his homeland to take charge of the Queensland Reds. Jones was brought on board by then South Africa head coach Jake White for their successful 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign before returning to Sarries soon after, this time as director of rugby. However, he left Vicarage Road in 2009 before then moving to Japan to link up with Suntory.
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