- Eddie Jones has been announced as Japan boss on Thursday
- He claimed he had no interest in the job while he was Australia coach
- But after resigning in October, he is set to return to Japan
Eddie Jones’s long-expected return to Japan has been confirmed on Thursday with the rugby federation announcing his arrival.
Despite vehemently denying speculation that he was interested in returning to the Brave Blossoms, Jones is expected to be confirmed as the new coach after resigning from the Wallabies in October.
Jones is understood to have held a secret interview with the Japanese federation prior to the Rugby World Cup, in which he oversaw Australia’s disastrous campaign in France.
He was interviewed a second time last week and has done enough to convince Japan that he still has plenty to give at the top level of rugby, signing a four-year deal with the Bravel Blossoms.
According to Japanese media, he has beaten South Africa’s Frans Ludeke to the job and will be unveiled on Thursday.
Eddie Jones has been announced as the new coach of Japan on Thursday
Jones quit the Wallabies in October and is on the cusp of returning to the Brave Blossoms
In a brief statement, Japan’s board said: ‘The Japan Rugby Football Union is delighted to announce the appointment of Eddie Jones as the new Head Coach of the Japan National Team, the Brave Blossoms.
‘Eddie Jones will officially commence his duties from 1 January 2024.’
Jones, who is half-Japanese, previously coached the Brave Blossoms between 2012 and 2015.
In another development, former Wallabies manager Chris Webb is also reportedly joining Jones at the JFRU, and recently flew to Japan.
Webb was met at the airport by Japanese press, with Sponichi reporting that Webb had stated: ‘Nothing had been decided yet’.
‘It was revealed on the 8th that Eddie Jones (63), who served in the same position from 2012 to 2015, has been confirmed to return as the next head coach (HC) of the Japan national rugby team,’ the Sponichi website said.
‘If approved by the Board of Directors on the 13th, he will be officially appointed for the first time in eight years,’ Sponichi reported.
‘Regarding the selection of the next head coach, Japan Association President Masato Tsuchida, who has a close relationship with Jones, led the return and made a secret offer to Jones, who had been Australia’s coach this spring.
‘An open call was held in July, with League1 Division 1 Tokyo Bay head coach Fran Rudike and others nominating. Final interviews were held with the two finalists in Tokyo on the 7th.
Jones reportedly held a secret interview with Japan while he was coach of Australia
‘As originally planned, Mr Jones was selected.’
Rugby Australia have since removed Hamish McLennan as chairman after a torrid 2023, with Daniel Herbert taking over.
The doomed appointment of Jones following the sacking of Dave Rennie in January was seen as a ‘captain’s pick’, although McLennan claimed the move was supported by the board.