‘Don’t feel any guilt at all’: Jones still denies Japan interview… despite clear problem with claim

Former Wallabies captain Stephen Moore doubts Eddie Jones was ever truly committed to Australia’s cause during his disastrous second stint as national coach.

But with Jones’ new post officially announced on Thursday night—just one month after he left the Wallabies—less than a year into a contract that doesn’t expire until 2027, he hopes the coach has a “good time” coaching Japan.

During Australia’s disastrous Rugby World Cup campaign in September, rumors circulated that Jones, the former Wallabies coach, had been interviewed for Japan’s coaching position. This sparked Japan’s interest in Jones.

Jones allegedly went to a second interview last week and got the job in spite of his protestations.

Moore, who played 129 games for the Wallabies during a distinguished career that saw him selected for Australia’s World Cup squads in 2007, 2011, and 2015, was adamant that rumors regarding Jones’ future had a role in the team’s inability to advance past the group stages of this year’s competition.

“I understand that the players will exercise diplomacy as they remain involved, but that information was unavoidably read and heard, and it does have an effect,” he remarked.

“They will undoubtedly attempt to ignore it, but the more of those types of things you have, the worse it is for the team.

“For that whole World Cup, there was stuff written every day basically about (the Jones saga), so it’s very hard to avoid that as a player.

Moore declared that it was time for the Wallabies to “move on” from Jones’ uncertain second term, which began when he was appointed in January.

“It seems like Eddie wasn’t really committed to what he was doing from the beginning, and there were always rumors about how long he was going to stick around for,” the former Brumbies and Reds hooker said. “There have to be questions marks over (how long he was in talks with Japan).

There was talk from the beginning about whether he would quit after the World Cup. It doesn’t matter if he spoke with Japan prior to the World Cup; everything has happened the way it has.

“My best wishes are with him. I hope he enjoys his time in Japan and that they are prosperous. For whatever reason, things just didn’t work out with the Wallabies, but we all need to move on at this point.

Flanker Fraser McReight sidestepped the question when asked on Wednesday if Australia’s dismal World Cup campaign was a result of the allegations linking Jones to Japan.

The Queenslander McReight remarked, “With Eddie and all that chat, the World Cup’s behind us now.””We’re done with it, but I personally wish him the best.

“It’s about bringing the lessons, and all that growth from the World Cup back here to the Reds.”

Eddie Jones is set to take the Japan coaching role. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Getty Images)

Despite McReight’s lack of investigation, a number of rugby industry heavyweights attacked Jones.

“Absolutely never spoken to them maaaaate!” is what former England international Andy Goode posted on X. Eddie Jones, nek minnit, gets the job in Japan! You can never trust this dude!

“Can we please stop talking about Eddie Jones?” wrote Wallabies player Ben Alexander, who played in 72 games.

Sonny Bill Williams added his commentary to the story, calling it “a disgrace.”

“Isn’t that a sad situation?”Wide World of Sports was told by Williams.

In my opinion, the entire story is a fraud. He obviously lied to the Australian Rugby Union, the players, and the general public. What a shame.

The former international player for New Zealand also criticized Jones’ attitude, saying that his recent behavior did not conform to traditional Japanese norms.

As Williams put it, “I genuinely feel bad for Japan because they think this guy is going to take them somewhere that he hasn’t been able to do.”

He appears to be rather out of touch with what’s going on right now.

I suppose I’m talking from the perspective of a former player. I could never trust someone I knew to be anything but a bunch of liars.

“Respect and loyalty are the cornerstones of Japanese culture, which he has demonstrated he is not.”

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