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'It would be awesome if Eddie had a role in the Australian future'

By Chris Jones
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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Double World Cup winner Phil Kearns believes that England boss Eddie Jones would be the perfect fit to nourish the next wave of future Wallabies in Australia. The former hooker reckons Jones will see his current RFU deal through to its World Cup 2023 expiry – but he then wants Rugby Australia to consider recruiting Jones for a role back home.

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Kearns, the executive director of the 2027 RWC bid by Australia, isn’t canvassing for Jones to be given another stint as coach of the Wallabies, the job he was sacked from in 2005. 

Instead, he sees Jones as the right man to build on the enthusiasm that would be generated if Australia is given the right to host a tournament it co-hosted with New Zealand in 1987 and on its own when England triumphed in 2003.

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A decision on the host country for 2027 – and for the 2029 women’s tournament which is also wanted by Australia – is expected to be known in a month’s time and Kearns is confident of success. That is why he believes Jones should be asked to return following the end of his England job after the 2023 Cup in France.

Jones is soon due to tour Australia as England are set to travel there for a three-Test series versus the Wallabies in July. This impending visit left Kearns telling Australian media this week: “They [the RFU] are not going to get rid of him before the 2023 World Cup. He won’t be panicking about his position. 

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“I’m looking forward to what goes on between Eddie and (Wallabies coach) Dave Rennie. It will be combative with the English and Eddie will throw bait out there for sure. Eddie is a really good bloke and an amazing coach. Eddie would be fabulous in dealing with the rugby youth of our nation, the up-and-coming players.

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“He builds resilience in players. He’s not easy with them and we all know that. He’s tough. He demands excellence and that can only be good for players on the way through. It would be awesome if Eddie had a role in the future of Australian rugby. Those (broken) bridges should well and truly be rebuilt and pave the way for Eddie to come back in some role.”

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