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'I don’t know if I believe it': Former All Black dissects Eddie Jones' 'time to go' comments

By Ned Lester
Wallabies head coach Eddie Jones speaks to the media during a Wallabies media opportunity at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 01, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones’ contract with Australia concludes following the 2027 Rugby World Cup, but not if you ask the man himself. Jones told the media this week that he has learnt from his mistakes and won’t be hanging around after this year’s World Cup.

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What motivated Jones to make such a claim is now subject to speculation, pundits have observed the shifting power within Rugby Australia and the Wallabies’ competitive edge when dissecting the comments.

What we do know is Rugby Australia have since reconfirmed the length of Jones’ contract to be the full five-year period, and that Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos’ last day in the job will be June 14.

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“I’m only coaching to this World Cup,” Jones told The Evening Standard podcast.

“I’ve signed, but as I’ve made the mistake before, I’ve stayed too long. So we win the World Cup it will be time to go. If we lose the World Cup it will be time to go.”

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The comments were dissected by former All Black Israel Dagg, who was curious about the Wallaby coach’s intentions, and suspicious of the role Marinos’ departure was playing.

“I don’t know if I believe it,” Dagg told SENZ Breakfast.

“Eddie Jones is Eddie Jones, you just (never know) … this might be Eddie Jones having a little ploy.

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“He loves to create a little bit of debate, keep everyone on the edges of their seats (and) not getting comfortable.

“Obviously with Andy Marinos going, there’s a big reason why he’s obviously signed with Rugby Australia because they’ve got a really good friendship (and) that might have repercussions.

“That might be the reason why, it probably is the reason why.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Friday morning that Former Wallabies captain Phil Waugh is set to take the reigns at the helm of Rugby Australia and succeed Marinos as CEO.

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J
Jon 5 hours ago
British & Irish Lions free agent open to Super Rugby switch

There are a couple of teams who could use a stop gap experienced head. Blues - I’m not sure the Blues have signed a replacement for Caleb Tangitau (if he hasn’t been let go to make room for Barrett) yet, or whether Reiko is going on sabbatical and/or will remain in the squad. With exciting young French player Xavi Taele looking destined for higher honors in black, talented breakthrough rookie Cory Evan’s, and a couple of utilities, in AJ Lam and Bryce Heem(even Clarke?), all trying to learn the midfield trade, Williams could be a great aid. The Blues signed key English center Joe Marchant before he was raised to that level, and were possibly in the hunt to bring back the dependable Tele’a from the Highlanders. Possible the main squeeze which would put to bed any signing here would be the battle at 10 with Beauden’s return, and the forcing of Plummer back into the midfield. Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett is off to Leinster for a sabbatical next year but the more likely signing would be Billy’s brother back in the team. The Hurricanes are light on the outside with the loss of Salesi Rayasi to the Top 14 and if no quality is found to back up Kini Naholo, the midfield of Sullivan or Proctors could find themselves on the wing and space for a leader to show the Hurricanes three All Black midfield hopefuls (Higgins, Proctor, Umaga-Jensen) how its done. Highlanders - Rotation is high as usual at the Highlanders and versatility remains a strength with a lot of the squad. With compatriot Rhys Patchell signing a move to the JRLO, the passing of outside back Connor Garden-Bachop, and confirmed departure of Argentine wing Martin Bogado, the versatility of many of the young backups in the squad could see a veteran 12 like Williams being a strong partner for the robust Tele’a. With hope that the other Umaga-Jensen brother can force him out of the starting lineup, and shifting the sides general Sam Gilbert back into 10, the off-contract midfielder might seen as the perfect option for a squad still looking to fill one back spot.

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