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The gainline-busting Cardiff Rugby loosehead has been one of the form players in the URC and he wants his opportunity with Wales

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'I had that Barbarians commitment written into my new contract'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones has confirmed he will still definitely coach the Barbarians in May at Twickenham – even though he was unveiled as the new Wallabies boss on Monday. The ex-England coach agreed to coach the invitational side last month not long after he had been dismissed by the RFU and he won’t back out of the challenge of taking on Steve Hansen’s World XV despite being tasked with ensuring that Australia are ready to be at their best for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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It was Monday when Rugby Australia announced their shock decision to replace Dave Rennie with Jones just 41 days after the long-serving England coach was sacked by the RFU on December 6.

However, rather than use this new deal with the Wallabies as an excuse to reverse from his commitment with the Barbarians, Jones has re-iterated how much he is looking forward to coaching the Killik Cup team and locking horns with Hansen, the ex-All Blacks boss.

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“I can’t wait to coach the Barbarians again this year. I had that commitment written into my new contract. It’ll be a great challenge,” he said before discussing the reasons why he agreed to return to the Wallabies job he was sacked from in 2005.

“In coaching, there isn’t a pathway. You just try and do as good a job as you can, and you keep doing the job until someone tells you that you can’t do it anymore. People either offer you a job, or you go looking for a job, and I was lucky enough to be offered this one – but it does potentially close a circle on a coaching career.

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“It’s been 18 years since I have coached Australia and in that time I have coached South Africa, Japan and England. I’ve won a World Cup final, lost a World Cup final, and now I get a chance to coach my own country so it’s quite humbling. I probably thought that England was going to be my last full-time coaching role, but I’m enjoying it so much still. As long as I’m healthy, fit, energetic and committed, then there is no reason why you should stop, is there? I love the game.”

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Barbarians boss Jones added: “To be honest, I never really thought about getting the opportunity to coach Australia again. The first time in 2005, that was a difficult time. You’re coaching your country and it gets taken away from you, but you move on and just get on with it, then re-focus on what you are doing.

“This team [Australia] is not too far away. Dave Rennie has done a great job under difficult circumstances, as they were probably affected more by covid than most countries. We’ll need to find a point of difference. That might be going back to that more aggressive, attacking Australian style of rugby, with a more aggressive defence. Really playing like a traditional Australian side did.

“We want to get super fit. There are parts of the modern game where you have to play the way it is now, but there are other parts where you can go back to tradition. Australia were traditionally flat at the line, numbers at the line, asking questions of the opposition, and making good decisions. That’s what we want to do.”

  • General admission tickets for Barbarian FC vs World XV are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.co.uk/barbarians at the early-bird price of just £25 for adults and £15 for U16s.

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RUGBYPASS+ Eddie Jones targets new world order with Wallabies Eddie Jones targets new world order with Wallabies
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