Jones no traitor

Former Australia coach Eddie Jones has denied he is a "traitor" despite agreeing to help South Africa ahead of the World Cup. [more]

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Former Australia coach Eddie Jones has denied he is a "traitor" despite agreeing to help South Africa ahead of the World Cup.

Jones has dismissed the suggestion from ARU boss John O’Neill and several Wallabies players that he has turned his back on his home country.

"November 2005 was the last time I coached Australia," Jones said.

"Since then there have been numerous offers from various teams to help. I had distanced myself from them. But the divorce settlement (with Australian Rugby) is final now and I’ve moved on."

Questions have been raised about Jones’ inside knowledge of the Queensland players in the side, as he was coach of the Reds until he was sacked after their dismal 2007 Super 14 campaign.

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"I don’t feel I’ve been disloyal to Australia. The only side I coached in the last 12 months was Queensland and that revolved around my coaching, no-one else’s," he told Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph.

The ARU has been working closely with Super 14 sides the Reds, ACT Brumbies, NSW Waratahs and Western Force over the past 12 months, with a view to helping the World Cup squad’s preparation for the event in France.

Jones admitted he had been in discussions with the Wallabies’ coaching staff in his position as Reds coach, but that he had not gleaned any "inside" information.

"I think I had one 30-minute conversation with (forwards coach) Michael Foley about tactics or technique and that was the only contact I’ve had with the Australian coaches over the last 12 months," he added.

"The bottom line is I worked with the players in Queensland and they worked on Queensland programs, not Wallaby programs. So again I don’t understand what the issue is and I’m sure if you spoke to most of the other provincial coaches they would say the same thing."

Jones also admitted he was not worried about people’s perceptions of his move to help out the Springboks, and that he expected the South African side would derive more benefit from his coaching experience than from his knowledge of the Wallaby set-up.

"I’m really not too concerned," Jones said. "I don’t have any guilty conscience.

"My coaching knowledge has been accumulated over a number of years. It’s been the result of my own work and working with players."

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