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Eddie Jones may ditch rugby union entirely according to latest rumour

By Ian Cameron
Eddie Jones /PA

Former England head coach Eddie Jones could ditch rugby union entirely according to the latest rumour doing the rounds.

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Jones’ seven-year reign with England ended on Tuesday following a Rugby Football Union review of an Autumn Nations Series campaign that saw defeats against Argentina and South Africa.

While the UK media’s eyes turn to who is likely to replace him, Jones himself may be ready to go in pivot in a different direction.

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One persistent rumour would see Jones swap rugby union for league and the bright light of Australia’s NRL. He has been repeatedly linked South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Jones’ affinity for the 13-man code is well known and he clearly puts a lot of stock in how they think about the game, considering he has leaned so heavily on rugby league coaches over the years.

“I like the game,” said Jones back in July. “If there was an opportunity there would jump at it, but the reality is it’s probably not going to be there.

“That would be the dream team [coaching the Rabbitohs]. That would be the dream. the age of five, I’ve supported Souths. That would be fantastic [to coach the Rabbitohs]. I loved the old teams with Ronnie Coote, Bob McCarthy, John Sattler and Eric Simms.”

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Former dual-code star Brian Carney believes Jones could be ‘bored’ of rugby union and could turn his attention fully to rugby league.

“He’s a huge fan of rugby league,” Carney told Sky Sports News. “That’s evident – you could see that in the coaching staff he assembled when he was in charge of England.

“He brought Anthony Seibold in, Brett Hodgson, Martin Gleeson and Jon Clarke, of course, formerly of Warrington Wolves as his conditioning coach. We know he loves rugby league, we know he loves the mentality of rugby league players.

“I think he’s probably got the experience, the maturity and the intelligence to surround himself with good people, turn up at a rugby league club and turn those group of players into winners so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Eddie Jones in rugby league.”

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Carney then proffered: “Do you not think he’s bored of rugby union?”

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If he does go to league, it seems he’ll at least make a stop off in the Top 14 before he does so. Castres Olympique head coach Pierre-Henry Broncan says that Jones is set to join the team as a consultant.

“It’s a complicated period for him, he has want to go back to Japan because his wife is Japanese and his mother is there. He will recharge his batteries in Japan at first. Then he will come here.”

One thing is for certain, with a 74 per cent win rate with England, the 62-year-old will not be short of suitors.

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