Even before it was announced that he’d been sacked there have been rumours regarding Eddie Jones and a switch to coaching rugby league, with the NRL being a particular desire for him.
Whilst he still held the role as England Rugby Union’s Head Coach that’s all they were, rumours – however since parting ways that’s turned into a genuine chase between the codes as to who acquires the Australian.
Having visited Penrith Panthers in the summer, and expressing a desire to coach his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs, he has been monitored by NRL clubs and Michelle Bishop of 7NEWS told SEN last week that teams were circling.
Bishop said: “I can confirm two NRL clubs have made serious inquiries about luring Eddie Jones to the NRL to coach their clubs.
“They’re investigating the possibility and they are very serious about it. He is no stranger to the game. He had a lot to do with rugby league in his earlier days.”
Given that he’s the most in demand man in both rugby league and rugby union he’s been interviewing with many media sites across the world including French publication, Midi Olympique, to whom he referenced his many suitors.
“Right now, everything is an option,” Jones told the French paper. “Next month, I will decide. There was (no break clause) in my England contract and if another nation made me an offer I would study it attentively.”
At present all NRL roles as head coach are occupied but it doesn’t change the fact that Jones will have plenty of offers and be top of the list if a vacancy arises.
One vacancy that’s prominent and open at the moment is the Australian rugby union head coaching role and it’s been heavily rumoured that Jones will return to the side he coached from 2001 till 2005.
The man who sacked Jones, RFU Chief Executive Bill Sweeney, has suggested that’s where Jones’ future lies.
“I’d be amazed if he wasn’t there, who knows? Hamish McLennan said they are going to ‘weaponise’ Eddie or something. Does he go there as a consultant, does he go to the US, to Japan, I don’t know.”
With this admission from Sweeney it’s looking that unless Jones’ beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs offer him an NRL job then he may not be making the code switch anytime soon, regardless of his own claims that everything remains on the table.