Odds slashed on Jones becoming England coach

Odds slashed on Jones becoming England coach

Coach Eddie Jones is being linked with the vacant England job.

Coach Eddie Jones is being linked with the vacant England job.

Eddie Jones, the former Australia and Japan coach, has emerged as the hot favourite to take over the vacant England job after one British bookmaker stopped taking bets after his odds plummeted on the back of money pouring in on the Australian.

Bookmaker William Hill said yesterday that Jones’s odds plummeted from 6-1 to 11-10 after a series of bets that followed the announcement by Australia coach Michael Cheika that he was not interested in the job.

“The gamble suggests that at the very least Eddie Jones is on a shortlist and an announcement could be imminent,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

Ian Ritchie, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive, said last week that England would seek to replace Stuart Lancaster with “proven international experience” and Jones is one of the few elite coaches in world rugby who comfortably fits the bill.

He led Japan to their best-ever World Cup showing in England, where they managed three victories, including a 34-32 win over South Africa. He also coached the Wallabies to the World Cup final in 2003 and was an assistant to Jake White when the Springboks won the 2007 tournament.

Jones, who recently took charge of South African Super Rugby side the Stormers, ruled himself out of the England job last week when he arrived in Cape Town.

The Stormers yesterday insisted that the recently-arrived 55-year-old will continue at the South African franchise.

“Eddie’s position has not changed since his unveiling last week at our media conference,” a Stormers spokesman said.

“Eddie said then that there has been ‘no contact and I’m committed to the Stormers’.”

Recent comments made by Jones, however, could signpost a looming club vs country row were he to be appointed.

“How can you manage your players when they are controlled by other organisations?” he told ESPN.

“In my opinion, that is the single greatest task ahead of whoever is going to be appointed as the next England coach.

“Wales, Ireland and Scotland – unlike England, Italy and France – all have centralised contracting systems. The union controls the players. As a consequence, they produced competitive teams and vibrant performances at the recent World Cup.”

South African White was the early favourite for a job that media reports claim carries an annual salary of £500,000.

Lancaster left the role “by mutual consent” last week, despite having four years left on his contract, following England’s pool-stage exit from the World Cup.

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