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Eddie Jones commits to Australia despite Rugby World Cup exit and denies rumours over Japan role

Australia failed to reach the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup after defeats to Wales and Fiji in the pool stage; former England head coach Eddie Jones has committed his future to Australia and denied reports linking him with a possible return to Japan

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Australian coach Eddie Jones says he is committed to the job and is not worried about being sacked after their Rugby World Cup Pool stage exit.

Eddie Jones said he is committed to coaching Australia for the long haul and has stood by his ill-fated youth policy that saw the Wallabies crash to their earliest World Cup exit.

The 63-year-old Australian, whose mother and wife are Japanese, has been linked with the Japan head coach job since Australian media reported he had interviewed for it a couple of days before the Wallabies' final World Cup warm-up.

In his first public appearance since returning to Australia, Jones said he had not spoken to "anyone" about the Japan role and had no idea where the reports had come from.

Australia's Angus Bell, left, is confronted by a teammate as Pone Fa'Amausili looks on after their 6-40 lost against Wales in a Rugby World Cup Pool C match
Image: Australia were eliminated from the Rugby World Cup at the pool stage for the first time in their history

"I'm staying, mate," he told reporters in Australia. "I've always been committed to Australian rugby, I want to leave it in a better place, and that's still the job."

After being sacked by England last December, Jones returned home in January on a five-year deal, his second stint as Australia coach after leading the Wallabies to the 2003 World Cup final in the first.

Jones immediately said Australia would claim a third World Cup triumph in France, an assertion that looked laughable after the Wallabies lost all five of their test matches in the run-up to the tournament.

Australia's Tom Hooper looks dejected after Wales beat the Wallabies 40-6 with a game to spare
Image: Tom Hooper was among the Wallabies players involved in their heavy 40-6 defeat to Wales

With Rugby Australia to conduct a review of the World Cup, the coach conceded his future was not entirely in his hands.

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"Its not absolutely my decision, is it? We've got a review going forward and we'll see what happens at the end of the review," he said.

His inexperienced Wallabies squad exited the World Cup in France after a campaign that included back-to-back losses to Fiji and Wales. Jones stood by his decision to go with youth and leave behind seasoned campaigners like Quade Cooper and Michael Hooper.

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Sky Sports News' Eleanor Roper explains why Eddie Jones' future was being questioned after Australia's 40-6 defeat to Wales.

"I think we have left Australian rugby in a better position, he said. "I came into the Wallabies (with) short preparation time, I had to make a quick decision on what we do.

"I made a decision we've got to go with youth. That's the best (decision) for Australia moving forward, and I still think I made the right decision there.

"Whilst the results in the World Cup weren't the results we wanted, I think I've left the Australian team in a great position to go on to 2027. That judgment will be decided by the 2027 World Cup."

What next for Australia?

Rugby Australia's long-term appointment of Jones was made with the home 2027 World Cup in mind, and the governing body has kicked off a reform process to better align state federations in service to national teams.

Jones said the "system" needed to be fixed to ensure future success for the Wallabies.

"(We need) everyone working together form the grassroots with little kids down at Randwick, all the way to Super Rugby teams and Wallabies teams where we all work together to put together the most powerful rugby national team we can put together," he added.

Australia's head coach Eddie Jones during their Rugby World Cup match against Georgia at the Stade de France
Image: Eddie Jones is currently in his second spell as Australia head coach

"If we can do that now then we've got a rosy future because we've got great support here and we need to generate more support with better results."

Raiwalui to step down as Fiji head coach

Simon Raiwalui will leave his post as Fiji head coach when his contract expires at the end of December, despite leading the Pacific Island nation to a quarter-final place at the World Cup.

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Action from Sunday's Rugby World Cup 2023 quarter-final clashes as South Africa defeated France in a powerhouse clash after England edge Fiji in thriller.

Fiji won plaudits for their run at the tournament, which was ended by England in a 30-24 defeat in Marseille on Sunday, after which a visibly emotional Raiwalui praised his team and said they had laid a platform for the next generation of players.

"I guess it is time to make it official, specifically what the next cycle will look like for Fiji Rugby," Raiwalui said on social media. "I will not be seeking an extension of (my) employment with FRU past 31 December.

"Thanks again to the players, staff and all the supporters, it has been quite a ride!"

New Zealand-born Raiwalui was appointed coach in February this year after Vern Cotter stepped down, having previously been high-performance director.

Fiji beat Australia and Georgia in Pool C but lost to Wales and Portugal. They rallied from 14 points down to draw level at 24-24 against England going into the final 10 minutes of their quarter-final, but lacked the experience to claim the win. It was Fiji's first World Cup quarter-final since 2007 and their third overall.

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Former England international Luther Burrell believes England face a 'monumental' challenge to overcome South Africa in their World Cup semi-final.

Rugby World Cup - remaining fixtures

Friday October 20

SEMI-FINAL - Argentina vs New Zealand (8pm, Paris)

Saturday October 21

SEMI-FINAL - England vs South Africa (8pm, Paris)

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Despite having reached the Rugby World Cup semi-finals, England attack coach Richard Wigglesworth believes Owen Farrell has received unfair criticism for his performances at the tournament.

Friday October 27

3rd Place Play-off - Semi-Final 1 Runner-Up vs Semi-Final 2 Runner-Up (8pm, Paris)

Saturday October 28

FINAL - Semi-Final 1 Winner vs Semi-Final 2 Winner (8pm, Paris)

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