- Eddie Jones is reportedly close to leaving the Wallabies
- There is an out clause in his $4.5 million contract
- Some of his trusted employees were laid off
Eddie Jones’ brief second spell as Wallabies coach is reportedly all but over after Rugby Australia booted out a handful of his trusted allies.
A number of Wallabies staff have been sacked by Rugby Australia following the team’s disastrous World Cup campaign, including highly regarded team manager Chris Webb.
However, most of the staff were only under contract until the end of the tournament News Corp Jones reportedly called in many upon his arrival earlier this year, including team psychologists, suggesting the tide was turning against him.
The report also states that Jones has his own way out via release clauses in his $4.5 million contract, which will allow him to break his deal if Rugby Australia fails to secure private investment funding or a to provide a centralized model. Both goals have not yet been achieved.
The staff exodus was part of a “purge” at Rugby Australia but signals a lack of confidence in the valued coach, who had reportedly applied for the head coaching position with Japan ahead of the tournament.
Eddie Jones is close to leaving the Wallabies, according to a new report
Several of Jones’ close allies have been sacked by Rugby Australia
Jones denies the rumors, but reports from Japan suggest he is close to joining the Brave Blossoms after success in Asia in 2015.
News Corp adds that Webb’s departure has left Jones “disappointed”, while assistant coaches Jason Ryles, Brett Hodgson, Dan Palmer, Neil Hatley, Pierre-Henry Broncan and Berrick Barnes have also been shown the door.
Should Jones decide to trigger a release clause, it would save Rugby Australia from being paid out in full on his contract, which runs until 2027.
He insisted last week he was fully committed to the Wallabies job.
“I enjoyed watching some of the young players mature during the World Cup – and some struggled and that’s part of it,” Jones said.
“Most of them have shown they have enough to really progress and be very good players for Australia.”
“We’re bringing in a few other players from around the area and we’ve got the core of a really good team.”
After vehemently defending his youth policy despite the Wallabies picking up unconvincing wins over minnows Portugal and Georgia in nine Tests this year, Jones admitted to a single regret in 2023.
Australia suffered a disastrous Rugby World Cup in France this year
“The only thing I regret is probably telling the press to get an uppercut,” he said of his infamous pre-World Cup press conference at Sydney Airport.
“But sometimes in the heat of the moment you say things you regret.”
“I probably need to give myself an uppercut, don’t I?” I didn’t like the way that media conference was portrayed, but it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do.”