While the former England coach insisted he was “committed to Australia” after the 40-6 thrashing by Wales, a report in the Japanese media now suggests he may be edging closer to succeeding Joseph.
Sponichi, a sports newspaper also known as Sports Nippon, has suggested that a deal that will confirm Jones’s return could soon be announced.
“This spring, Masato Tsuchida, president of the Japan RFU, with whom he has had a honeymoon relationship since his days at Suntory, contacted him,” the report said. “Contract negotiations have been held privately behind the scenes and preparations are under way for his first return since the 2015 World Cup, at which he led them to a historic three wins.”
Phil Waugh, chief executive of Rugby Australia, said during the tournament that Jones had denied taking part in an interview with the JRFU, while Jones hit out at journalists after the line of questioning was pursued in a press conference.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, mate,” Jones replied when asked about the Sydney Morning Herald’s report.
“I really take umbrage at the questioning, that people are questioning my commitment to coaching Australia. I’ve been working non-stop since I came in and I apologise for the result. You want to keep going down that line, I’ll excuse myself.”
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