Jones considers Springboks switch

Former Queensland and Australia coach Eddie Jones sees no issue in linking up with South Africa ahead of the World Cup. [more]

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Former Queensland and Australia coach Eddie Jones sees no issue in linking up with South Africa ahead of the World Cup.

Jones is now based in England, but is in South Africa for discussions with the Springboks over a role in Jake White’s management structure.

Having severed his links with his home country, and after criticism from returning Australia rugby chief John O’Neill, he refutes any idea of sporting treachery.

He told New Zealand broadcaster Radio Sport: "I’ve moved on now, we’re moving up to England. I don’t see myself being disloyal at all.

"What I’m trying to do is become a better coach. In terms of giving away secrets from the Wallabies, I haven’t coached them since November 2005, and as is well-documented, when I coached the Reds in the Super 14 I basically had no communication with John Connolly so I don’t know where I’d be getting this secret information from."

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Jones also backed Wallabies predecessor Bob Dwyer’s assertion that New Zealand’s odds as World Cup favourites should be shortened.

He said: "I think they’re still the favourites. What the problem has been, if you look at New Zealand in 2004, 2005 and 2006, they were probably five or six per cent better than everyone else.

"Now they’re probably one or two per cent better than anyone else. That difference has decreased, not dissimilar to England in 2003 when they probably hit a peak in June and then were just able to hang on.

"New Zealand, as Bob Dwyer made the point in May, have already hit their peak, but they’ve still got enough left to be rated the best side in the world and an outstanding chance of winning the World Cup.

"They’ve been idling a little bit. Graham Henry is a bit like a racehorse trainer returning a stayer for the Melbourne Cup. He doesn’t want him peaking a month before, he wants them peaking at the World Cup.

"I think you’ll find the All Blacks, when it comes to the World Cup, will be a much more cohesive unit than they’ve been over the last couple of months."

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