Eddie Jones would be “up for the challenge” of rugby league, reveals head coach

With the aftermath of Eddie Jones being sacked from his role as Head Coach of England Rugby Union being resolved from an England point of view, having hired Steve Borthwick and Kevin Sinfield, there’s still the question of what next for Jones and a current NRL coach believes Jones could make it in the NRL and would want to.

Anthony Seibold is the head coach of Manly Sea Eagles and worked under Jones as a defensive coach using his “rugby league lens” to identify ways for England to win.

It’s been reported multiple times that Eddie Jones is a huge fan of rugby league and this is something that Seibold confirmed when speaking to James Graham on his podcast, The Bye Round.

“He’s a massive NRL fan and South Sydney in particular. He tells me stories about the days when the match of the day used to be at the sports ground and he’d go with his dad and watch the Dragons play the Bunnies as a kid. He came through playing league, he’s been a massive supporter of rugby league.”

Much of the links and rumours about Jones taking up an NRL job were fuelled from his self-professed love of the game however last week Michelle Bishop of 7NEWS told SEN that the switch was potentially on.

Bishop told SEN: “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.”

With his old job position already filled there’s potential that Jones could jump at the opportunity and his dream of coaching an NRL side, something Seibold thinks he’s more than capable of.

“Eddie’s an elite coach, he could be an NRL head coach,” Seibold explained before also mentioning Lebanon head coach Michael Cheika.

“They could be head coaches or they could be director of rugby or whatever term you want to use. They would need good rugby league assistant coaches underneath them. For instance Eddie knows how to set up an elite programme or a high performing programme.”

Comparing Jones assuming a head coaching role to his own situation having taken over at a club Seibold stated: “I feel as though we’ve got the right people in the right positions in our organisation to help me as the head coach and that would be the challenge for Eddie or Michael in the NRL, getting the right people in the right seats. They would both know how to set up a high performing environment

Having established that Jones could make the switch Seibold talked on whether he would make the switch.

“I’m not sure how serious Eddie is, look he always jokes about how he’d love to give it a crack. He’s got so many opportunities in rugby.

“I don’t know, rugby union is a worldwide game, that’s the reality of it. You’ve got elite high financed competitions in Japan, France, the English Premiership. The salary cap there is what the Super League is over in England.

“I’m sure he’s got a whole host of opportunities, if he was serious about wanting to be an NRL head coach I’m sure there would be an opportunity for him at some stage somewhere but who knows?

“He’d be up for the challenge I’d have thought but it’s just that there would be so many opportunities for him around the world in rugby union and he might continue to pursue those ones.”

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