Eddie Jones is standing his ground and has pledged to turn around the Wallabies, despite a historically bad start to his second tenure in charge.
Jones, 63, fronted the media in Sydney on Tuesday morning, with speculation swirling he might be standing down to take a job in Japan.
But he was as combative as ever, stating he has no intention of walking away and plans to continue building a competitive Wallabies side for the 2027 Rugby World Cup in Australia.
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Rushed back into the Australian job in a Rugby World Cup year back in January, Jones insisted he was in for the long haul for a sport that is on life support.
Instead, he just about pulled the plug himself, leading the Wallabies to a worst-ever World Cup performance, with the men in gold failing to get out of the group stage for the first time.
Ruthlessly casting aside a number of experienced players, Jones opted for untested youth at the World Cup, seemingly with one eye firmly on the next edition on home soil.
And he insists that is still the plan.
“That’s the intention mate. But as you know we play in a game where the coach doesn’t decide how long they stay,” he told reporters.
“Obviously the results were disappointing.
“Everyone is gutted by it. But I stand by the decisions I made and I think Australian Rugby is in a better position.
“We came into the Wallabies with a short preparation time, I had to make quick decisions on what we do, I made a decision we have to go with youth, that’s the best option for Australia going forward.
“The results in the World Cup weren’t what we hoped, but I still think we made the right decisions there.
“If we can fix these issues, we’ve got a rosy future.”
On the eve of the World Cup, Jones had a famously combative press conference, where he blasted the negativity coming from the media and suggested they all need to “give themselves an uppercut”.
On Tuesday, he conceded that was a mistake.
“Probably need to give myself an uppercut, don’t I?” he said.
“Again, I didn’t like the way that media conference was portrayed.
“Probably wasn’t the wisest thing to say, sometimes you say things in the heat of the moment that you regret.”
Then during the World Cup itself, where Australia was thrashed by Wales and lost to Fiji for the first time in 69 years, Jones was linked with a return to Japanese rugby.
He continually denied that speculation and did again on Tuesday.
“I haven’t been speaking to anyone mate,” was his response.
While stalwarts like Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper were dumped from the Australian squad, Jones went down an extremely youthful path.
With two wins and seven losses from his time in charge, Jones is facing a long road to get this Wallabies team back to anything like respectability, let alone challenging for a third World Cup title.
But he remains defiant.
“We have the nucleus of a really good team,” he said.
“We had the courage to go with a younger squad and I think this squad is going to stand Australia in good stead.”
Jones only took the Wallabies job back in January when he signed a five-year deal that would take him through to the 2027 World Cup in Australia.
Wallabies legend Mark Ella said earlier this week he hoped Jones would stay and felt he was the right man for the job.
“It’s disappointing, that’s for sure, and I’m sad to see what’s happening with Eddie,” Ella said after he was elevated to legend status in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
“He came here to be the saviour of Australian rugby, but that’s not what’s happening.
“I hope that he’ll get his act together and stay in Australia.”
Jones didn’t have long to put his stamp on the national team, with the Wallabies winning just two of their four matches in Pool C to finish third behind Wales and Fiji.
Ella is confident Jones can still work some magic if he ignores other opportunities and finishes the job that he only just started.
“He only had five or six months this time to change Australian rugby before the World Cup and it obviously didn’t work, but he’s got to start again because he’s now got four years to actually get these guys back into shape and restructure the game and how we’re going to play,” the former Wallabies captain said.
“He needs to stay here so he can build us up from where we are because where we are right now is basically nowhere.
“We’ve got to start again and I hope Eddie is the person who makes Australian rugby successful again.