EDDIE JONES will no longer be head coach of England rugby union – that much is true.
However, his successor has yet to be announced – though Leicester Tigers boss Steve Borthwick is now the favourite to take change – whilst Jones’ next move is currently up in the air.
With Jones previously stating his desire to move to rugby league, though, could the Australian join a potential Super League or NRL club as a head coach or a director of rugby?
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Perhaps the most likely choice for Jones. The South Sydney Rabbitohs are his boyhood club with his links going back to when he was a boy. Of course, the Rabbitohs currently have Jason Demetriou in charge, but someone like Jones as a potential director of rugby would give owner Russell Crowe another dimension from which to attract the top players in either code. The link with the 13-man code never seem to go away and neither does the name Souths.
Manly Sea Eagles
It’s fair to say that the Manly Sea Eagles need someone to turn their culture and brand around following the disaster surrounding the Pride shirt during 2022. Bringing in someone as well-renowned and respected as Jones would go some way to doing that, especially with new Manly head coach Anthony Seibold spending time working with Jones as England defence coach. The two got along wonderfully well in the rugby union national set-up, so a great relationship has already been established.
Wests need to do something to attract big-name stars to their club following the hardships of the past few seasons. 2022 went disastrously for the Tigers, with the sacking of Michael Maguire and the dire run under Brett Kimmorley consigning the Concord club to bottom of the NRL ladder with just five wins from 24 games. Appointing Tim Sheens as head coach with Benji Marshall in the background is a good way to start for the Tigers, but Jones would put the icing on the cake in a director of rugby role.
Back in the summer of 2021, Eddie Jones spent time at Hull FC in a training camp alongside former Black and Whites boss Brett Hodgson. Fellow Australian Hodgson had spent time with the England rugby union side in a like-for-like agreement with Jones enjoying getting to grips with the Hull side. During that time, Jones clearly liked what he saw as he brought in Hodgson to his England rugby union set-up earlier this year. With Tony Smith as head coach, it would be a director of rugby role for the Australian, but stranger things have happened.
Warrington Wolves have had no issue with spending big in a bid to improve their squad, coaching staff and culture at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Bringing in Daryl Powell as well as backing him with a number of huge signings for 2023 suggests owner Simon Moran wants results and trophies at the Cheshire club. Eddie Jones as director of rugby would certainly underline that, especially when considering that the former Australia and Japan rugby union coach spent time with the Wolves back in 2019.