Eddie Jones has ruled himself out of the running to coach the British & Irish Lion in 2021.

Speaking to the Courier Mail in Brisbane, Jones made it clear that he has no desire to take on the role.

He will be out of contract with England in 2021. However, there is speculation that he may not last that long in the post if England fail to perform well at the World Cup.

Jones is likely to have several options when he does eventually leave. However, leading the Lions in South Africa is not an option. He dismissed the role in typically scathing fashion.

“The last thing I want to do is spend eight weeks in a blazer,” Jones said in the interview. “That’s an ambassador job. I’m a coach. I’d rather coach the Queensland Sheffield Shield [cricket] team.”

He did not write off suggestions that he might succeed Michael Cheika as coach of Australia. Jones held that position for four years from 2001. And a return is a possibility.

“I don’t think I would ever say ‘never’ but it’s not something I have really thought about,” Jones said. “One thing Australia are not short of is talent. Cheika is in a good position. This could be his last hurrah and he’s got nothing to lose.”

His refusal to deny interest in following Cheika suggests that Jones could be preparing to leave the England role this year.

Should that happen, Warren Gatland will be favourite to replace Jones. The New Zealander is also on the wanted list for the French Federation.

 

Written by Colin Renton

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