PA Eddie Jones (file pic).
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Wallabies coach Rennie rules out working with Eddie Jones at World Cup

Speculation has been mounting about the future of the sought-after Australian Jones.

WALLABIES COACH DAVE Rennie has ruled out working with sacked England boss Eddie Jones before or during this year’s World Cup, saying “it won’t happen”.

Speculation has been mounting about the future of the sought-after Australian Jones, with Rugby Australia recently contacting him about a potential move home.

Australia’s World Cup preparations were dealt a blow last week with assistant coach Scott Wisemantel quitting just eight months out from the global showpiece in France.

But New Zealander Rennie, who has survived the axe despite just five wins from 14 Tests last year, said he had not spoken to the governing body about a role for Jones.

Asked whether he would work alongside the outspoken 62-year-old if he was brought into the Wallabies set-up this year, Rennie was adamant.

“It won’t happen before (the World Cup),” the 59-year-old, who is contracted until the end of the year, told reporters as the Wallabies assembled for a camp on the Gold Coast.

“There’s a fair bit of speculation about a lot of things but my focus is on this group and the World Cup.

“We’ve had no discussions around that (Jones). There’s no plan to make alterations to the coaching group at this stage.

“My assumption is we’re going to push on. What happens beyond 2023 is a different matter.”

Jones, sacked by England in December, told the Sydney Morning Herald last month that the last few years had taken a toll and it would be “difficult” to coach another team at the World Cup.

But he added: “If someone comes forward and the offer’s too good to refuse then I’ll look at it.”

Jones is also reportedly being courted by several other Test nations, including the United States and Japan.

He took England to the final of the 2019 World Cup, where they lost to South Africa.

Rennie has been linked with a move to Kobe Steelers in Japan, but he rejected claims any deal had been signed.

“All I’ll say is I haven’t signed with Kobe. My focus is totally here,” he said.

– © AFP 2023

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