Eddie Jones (rugby union)

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Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones Rugby.jpg
Date of birth (1960-01-30) 30 January 1960 (age 54)
Place of birth Burnie, Tasmania
School Matraville Sports High School
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Hooker
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Randwick
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
1987-1989 New South Wales 12 (0)
Coaching career
Years Club / team
1994
1995-1996
1996
1997
1998-2001
2001-2005
2006
2007
2007
2007-2009
2009-2012
2012-
Randwick
Tokai University
Japan Assistant
Suntory Sungoliath
ACT Brumbies
Australia
Saracens Consultant
Reds
South Africa Assistant
Saracens
Suntory Sungoliath
Japan
Rugby union career

Eddie Jones (born 30 January 1960 in Burnie, Tasmania to a Japanese immigrant mother and an Australian father) is a rugby union coach and former player.

Playing career[edit]

Jones playing career began at Matraville Sports High School.[1] He played as a hooker for Randwick and New South Wales but was kept out of the Australia side by Tom Lawton and then was usurped by young hooker Phil Kearns at domestic level, and Kearns went onto to become one of Australia's most successful hookers. Jones played against the British & Irish Lions for New South Wales B in 1989.[2] He retired to concentrate on a career as a teacher and school principal.

Coaching career[edit]

Early coaching career[edit]

In 1994 Eddie Jones gave up his career as a teacher and school principal to coach his former club Randwick. Then he went to Japan where he had brief stints coaching Tokai University, Japan as assistant coach and Suntory Sungoliath.

ACT Brumbies[edit]

Jones returned to Australia in 1998 to coach the ACT Brumbies. Jones had a disappointing first season only finishing 10th in the Super 12 his first season in charge, he has since said he was "way out of his depth" in his first season.[3]

However Jones went onto lead the Brumbies into the beginning of their best period of their history, in 2000 the Brumbies were runners up losing the final to the Crusaders, but in 2001 coached them to their first title and the first ever team from outside New Zealand to win the tournament. In the same year, he also coached Australia A to a win over the touring British & Irish Lions. This success led to him getting appointed as head coach of the Australian national rugby union team, the Wallabies after Rod MacQueen retired. Notably whilst with the Brumbies, it was Jones who was credited with discovering George Smith whilst at a trial for a Rugby League team the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, Smith went onto to become one of Australia's greatest players.

Australia[edit]

Under Jones, Australia won the 2001 Tri Nations but then what had been their most successful era began to fade and Australia entered their home World Cup in 2003 as third favourites behind New Zealand and England. They managed to upset the All Blacks in the semi final before losing to England in the final in extra time through a last minute drop goal.

After the World Cup, Jones was awarded a contract to lead Australia through to the 2007 Rugby World Cup, he also had an offer to coach Japan which he turned down.[4]

In 2005, the Wallabies suffered a spate of injuries and lost seven straight games and at the end of the Wallabies European tour had lost eight of their last nine matches, with the scrum in particular struggling. After a 22-24 loss to Wales at the Millennium Stadium, on 2 December 2005 his contract was terminated as the Wallabies head coach.[5] While the Australian Rugby Union had ordered a report into the Wallabies after the season including a review of Jones's position as head coach, it has been speculated that the Wallabies' loss to Wales was why Jones was removed as head coach before the investigation had even begun.

Post Wallabies[edit]

Just over a month after Jones was relieved of his position as Wallabies head coach, he signed a three year deal with the Queensland Reds to take over as head coach after the 2006 Super 14 season. In February 2006 joined Saracens on a consultancy role until the end of the season to help them after they were struggling towards the bottom of the league.[6]

Jones endured a torrid season at the Reds in 2007 who finished bottom of the Super 14 table only managing two wins the entire season. Injury spells meant Jones at times was to do without up to 8 regulars to his starting team, including the loss of influential Wallabies fullback Chris Latham even before the season started. His last match was an away defeat to the Bulls by a Super Rugby record margin of 89 points which led to mounting calls amongst the media for him to be sacked.[7] His stint at the Reds is by far the least successful of his coaching career and he resigned after just one season in charge.[8] During his time at the Reds he was also fined $10,000 dollars for calling the performance of referee Matt Goddard "disgraceful" and "lacking common sense" after a close 6-3 loss to his former side the Brumbies.[9]

Later in 2007, he turned down an approach from Fiji to be a technical advisor to the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, and instead was appointed by Springbok coach Jake White to be the technical advisor of the South African team at the tournament.[10] He was criticised by the ARU Chief Executive John O'Neill for taking up a job to try and help Australia's rivals.[11]

South Africa went onto win the World Cup, and Jones was praised for his role in the success with former coach Nick Mallett calling the move from White to appoint him a "masterstroke" and credited him with improved backline play by South Africa at the tournament.[12] Jones was an official part of the Springbok coaching team, but because he isn't South African, he was not offered an official Springbok Rugby Blazer, instead Jones wore his tracksuit, which was a condition in his contract with SA Rugby prior to being appointed.

After the World Cup, Jones rejoined Saracens, initially in an advisory role,[13] before taking over the director of rugby role for the 2008/09 season.[14] However he announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season due to "personal reasons" in February[15] then quit early in March 2009 after disagreements with the board and described the period as "the worst he has had in rugby".[16]

Return to Japan (2009-present)[edit]

After leaving Saracens, he rejoined Suntory Sungoliath in Japan. He brought together a strong team bringing in George Smith, Fourie du Preez and Danie Rossouw who he had coached in previous jobs, and coached them to win the Top League title in 2012 winning the final 47-28 against the Panasonic Wild Knights alongside two consecutive All Japan Championship wins.

Following John Kirwan resigning from his post as Japan national rugby union team head coach. Jones was appointed to take over in 2012 and lead the team to the 2015 Rugby World Cup,[17] Jones quickly took the team in a different direction to Kirwan, his first move as Japan coach was to lessen the amount foreigners, who had been prominent in the Japan team under Kirwan and to try and encourage the Japanese to play their own style. He also said his goal was to bring Japan up a level to amongst the top 10.[18]

Despite losing all three of his first Pacific Nations Cup matches by narrow margins, in November 2012 Jones coached the side to their first ever wins in Europe, beating Romania and Georgia.

In 2013, Jones led Japan to their sixth consecutive championship win in the Asian Five Nations, where Japan achieved a tournament record score of 121-0 against the Philippines. Japan later lost to Tonga in the opening round of the 2013 IRB Pacific Nations Cup, which was followed by a defeat to Fiji in round 2. Following these matches, Jones coached the Brave Blossoms to a series draw against Wales after narrowly losing the first test 18-22 and winning the second test 23-8. This was the first time Japan has recorded a victory over the Welsh.

On 16 October, he was hospitalised after having a suspected stroke and was released from hospital on 18 October.[19][20] With the announcement of his release from hospital, it was announced that Jones will miss Japan's 2013 end-of-year rugby union tests against New Zealand, Scotland, Gloucester, Russia and Spain, and former Australia skills coach and current technical adviser for Japan Scott Wisemantle will interim coach Japan for their 2013 end-of-year rugby union tests.[21]

References[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Australia Rod Macqueen
Australia National Rugby Union Coach
2001-2005
Succeeded by
Australia John Connolly
Preceded by
New Zealand John Kirwan
Japan National Rugby Union Coach
2012-present
Succeeded by
present