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‘I’m just doing my job’: Aussie scribe reveals Eddie Jones ‘blocked my number’

By Finn Morton
Eddie Jones - PA

Over the past few months, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Tom Decent has led the way by updating rugby readers on one of the biggest sports stories of the year in Australia.


It was Decent who first broke the story that then-Wallabies boss Eddie Jones had reportedly interviewed with Japan for their head coach role before the Rugby World Cup.

Hours before the Wallabies’ record 40-6 World Cup defeat to Wales in Lyon, the story went live on the SMH. Decent also asked Jones about the apparent interview a couple of times after the defeat.

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“I don’t know what you are talking about, mate,” Jones adamantly denied at the press conference.


For the months that followed, Jones continued to reject the idea that he was looking elsewhere less than a year into a five-year deal with Rugby Australia, but everyone knows how that ended.

Jones was officially unveiled as Japan’s new head coach on Wednesday. Decent flew to Tokyo and continued to seek answers at a press conference on Thursday.

“Ultimately we labelled it a first-round interview for a reason, we obtained a screenshot of that interview which said first-round interview, Eddie Jones, JRFU,” Decent told SEN 1170 Afternoons.


“We also spoke to individuals who were very close to the situation. They told us things which we haven’t printed… which would absolutely indicate that it wasn’t just having a chat to a recruiter about (his experiences) as Japan coach.

“I think Eddie was being a bit cute there and got concerned a bit. I don’t think they understand exactly what we had.

“It’s an interesting spin that as well. Funnily enough, the Japan chairman who (said) it was only recruiters that Eddie was speaking to, well he was on the call as well and we proved that.”

Before flying out to Europe ahead of the Rugby World Cup, Jones infamously told a group of reporters at Sydney Airport to “give yourselves uppercuts” during a press conference.


Decent has now revealed that ‘Eddie’ “blocked my number” after that media opportunity which Jones considered to be far too negative ahead of the sport’s showpiece event.

“I think Eddie understands the journalism game, I’m just doing my job and his job is to coach a rugby (team).” Decent said.

“He blocked my number after that famous Sydney airport press conference where he went (off at) a few reporters. I never really got to the bottom of why.

“Then obviously a few days later it emerged that he had been speaking to Japan, the only exchanges I’ve had with him have been at press conferences.

“They’ve been tense and make for good TV fodder as well but ultimately, we were just trying to ascertain the truth. It’s not just me against him or the herald against him, it’s Australian rugby fans who deserve to know his true intentions.”


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Ace 205 days ago

Tom “Decent”? Isn’t he the guy who broke the “pissgate” scandal?

Kara 206 days ago

let me know when you are prepared to delete the defamatory nonsense posted about Tom Decent and I may return.

Bob 207 days ago

In the words of Rassie Erasmus commenting on the article by Tom Decent:

“Tom, I don’t think many rugby fans will take you serious man”

[replaced “South Africa” with “rugby”]

Speak the truth.. don’t fabricate

Bob 207 days ago

To be fair Tom Decent is a sports journalist with a reputation for fabricating stories to grab headlines for a column starved of attention in the SMH.

He fabricated a story about a Springbok player that urinated at the Randwick High School training fields prior to the Sydney TRC match. This claim by Decent was denied by Randwick High School, Randwick council and the Springbok management team.
Tom Decent never provided proof for his article other than referring to an anonymous source.

When it comes to claims by Decent about calls to Eddie Jones phone, I would treat the claim with suspicion taking into account his history of fabricating stories to grab headlines.

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