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'It's me': Eddie Jones offers himself up as the fall-guy for Wallabies' campaign

By AAP
Angus Bell is comforted by Wallabies teammates. Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images

As a hooker Eddie Jones wasn’t known for his side-step, but the Wallabies coach has continued to use his evasive skills to avoid talking about his ties to the Japan coaching vacancy.

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At the naming of Australia’s team for their final pool clash in France, taking on Portugal in Saint-Etienne, Jones was pushed for a definitive answer on whether or not he had been interviewed to take over as Japan coach following the World Cup.

“The only thing I’m concentrating on is Portugal,” Jones responded when asked to clarify his future.

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“So if you want to ask about anything else, don’t ask.”

The reporter said the Australian public deserved to know whether a zoom interview just days before the World Cup opener, took place.

“I’ve already answered before, I said no, I said no previously.”

Asked if was considering resigning after the final pool game the 63-year-old repeated that he was “only worried about the Portuguese game”.

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Former Wallabies captains Stephen Moore and Simon Poidevin have both said that Jones’s position as coach was untenable if he had actively pursued the Japan role less than a year into a five-year contract with Australia.

Following historic losses to Fiji and Wales, which put the Wallabies on the brink of missing the quarter-finals for the first time, Jones said he was responsible for the humiliating defeats rather than the players.

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He said he would be the “fall-guy” if Rugby Australia were looking to blame someone for Australia’s worst World Cup showing.

“Well, if people have got a problem with the results, they come to me, right? And at the end of the tournament I’ll stand by that.

“If there needs to be a fall-guy for the World Cup, then it’s obviously me.

“When you become a head coach of a team, you take on that responsibility.

“The playing group has been absolutely fantastic and I couldn’t ask any more of them so if there needs to be someone responsible for the performance, it’s me.”

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