After being linked with a move to the NRL former England Rugby Union boss Eddie Jones’ future has been confirmed.
Jones had previously been pursued by Wigan Warriors and Warrington Wolves and made it clear he would be keen on coaching in the NRL.
In fact he described taking over at South Sydney Rabbitohs as his “dream job.”
It was also reported that multiple NRL clubs were considering bringing him on board after it was confirmed that he would no longer be England coach.
However, now his future has been confirmed and it will not be in rugby league.
Instead Jones will return to coach the Wallabies meaning he could come up against his former England side in the upcoming rugby union World Cup adding another layer of rivalry to England vs Australia.
Now Jones is ready to raid rugby league with News Corp in Australia reporting that Parramatta Eels centre Will Penisini, Manly flyer Tolu Koula and Melbourne Storm enforcer Nelson Asofa-Solomona are all targets of Jones as he hopes to bring them over to rugby union on big money.
This is on top of “generational talent” as Jon Wilkin called him, Joseph Suaali’i who shone in the Rugby League World Cup.
The fullback could very well make the move to European Rugby Union or indeed Rugby Union down under after being linked with both including a $1o million move to Rugby Australia and now that Jones is in charge that move is only more possible.
If he did move to Rugby Union it would be a huge loss for the sport and the Daily Telegraph have since emphasised this likelihood.
They have questioned whether or not his reported move to the centres in 2023 will be enough to satisfy him and deter him from making the move away which could reportedly be worth $10 million.
“We always want to develop players in rugby first. That’s the No. 1 priority,” Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“No. 2 is to get back players who were lost initially from rugby to rugby league due to the financial inducements that league are able to give the players. We want to get players back who are lost.
“Thirdly, at the right time, is there an opportunity to secure some talent we don’t have in rugby from league? I think there is a strategic plan that needs to be put in place but the first thing is to retain the talent we do have.
“I’m sure the allure of playing in a home Rugby World Cup might be something to attract them back.”
In response to this, ARL Chairman Peter V’Landys hit back at Jones’ plans by tearing into rugby union and its lengthy stoppages:
“(They) can take their mobile phone with them on the field because they’ve got 20 minutes to tweet, Instagram or TikTok,” V’landys said.
“We wish Eddie the best of luck, and I hope he’s got his mobile phone with him so he can fill that 30 minutes as well,” V’landys said via the AAP.
This of course has prompted a response from Jones speaking in Rugby Pass.
“If we can play some good rugby, people will want to watch us play,” Jones said.
“And if we win, then we’ll be in a better position in the media … we might even get, what’s his name, the horse guy, to a media conference – V’Landys.”
“In the Australian rugby landscape, rugby league is a pretty intense competitor, and they compete for the fans, they compete for television money, they compete for the players,” Jones said.
“I’ve heard guys who I’ve coached they tell me their sons don’t watch rugby anymore.
“That happens when you’re not connected with your fans, and part of that is the winning process and part of that is how we conduct ourselves.
“There’s a clear message; we’ve got to try to become a team of the rugby community, and that’s hard in the professional era where you need to have good training camps, and you can’t spend the amount of time in the public as you used to.”