Eddie Jones linked with another international job alongside ex-All Blacks coach
Despite his unsavoury exit from Australian rugby after the World Cup, there is no shortage in interest in the services of Eddie Jones with Georgia becoming the latest side to target the coach.
Following the departure of Levan Maisashvili in the wake of a World Cup where Georgia only managed a draw to Portugal and three losses, Jones has made the shortlist to take over the Lelos, according to Georgian podcast Abragan.
Jones makes the shortlist alongside former Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who recently coached the All Blacks to the World Cup final under Ian Foster, and former England assistant coach Richard Cockerill, who was sacked by Montpellier last month.
After becoming a free agent after the World Cup, Schmidt has also been eyed as a long-term option to take Cockerill’s former job in charge of Montpellier. Though Patrice Collazo is in charge of the Top 14 club for the time being, new director of rugby Bernard Laporte has singled out the Kiwi as one of his targets in the future.
Jones has also been linked with a potential move back to Japan to coach the national team again after his stint in charge between 2012 and 2015. That situation remains nebulous, however, so Georgia could well swoop in while the Australian remains unattached.
Despite beating Georgia while in charge of the Wallabies at the World Cup in September, Jones was effusive with his praise of his opponents. He said: “The strength of the team has changed, the balance of the team has changed.
“Your game has evolved because you’ve got some great young backs. Both the nines are good players and the fullback is something special; he’s got that curving, arching run and he doesn’t lose speed when he changes direction so he’s very hard to defend against.
“It’s an evolution of Georgian Rugby. You always want to keep your strength there which is your scrum and then adding to it.”
Though they had a promising opening performance at the World Cup against Australia, Georgia’s tournament was ultimately a disappointing one, finishing bottom of Pool C.
“I’m a little bit disappointed because we didn’t achieve our target, what was our goal, but one thing I can say is we played against tier one countries every game,” said Maisashvili after their exit.
“The results of course are not what we want, but we played every game and never gave up.”