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Eddie Jones: Returning Japan head coach denies claims of early job interview while still in Australia role

"I wanted to go back and change Australia. I don't feel any guilt at all about this process," stresses Eddie Jones in his first press conference since being re-hired as Japan's head coach; Jones denies he had any interview for the Brave Blossoms job while still in post for Australia

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Eddie Jones says he doesn't feel guilty at all about his process of joining Japan after it was rumoured he was in talks with the Japanese Rugby Football Union while coaching Australia at the World Cup

Japan's new head coach Eddie Jones stressed that he was not interviewed for the role before the World Cup where he oversaw Australia's disastrous campaign, saying on Thursday that he did not feel any guilt about the process of his appointment.

The Japan Rugby Football Union on Wednesday announced the reappointment of Australian Jones as Jamie Joseph's replacement, ending weeks of speculation about a return to the role he had held from 2012 to 2015.

Jones quit as Australia head coach at the end of October after the Wallabies' worst World Cup campaign - where the twice champions crashed out at the pool stage - having repeatedly denied media reports that he had been interviewed by Japan.

"I didn't do an interview before the World Cup," Jones told reporters. "I was asked by the recruitment agency to share my experiences on Japan and some people might have construed that as an interview.

"The first interview I had with Japan was in December and that's the only one I've had. I feel terrible about the results [with Australia]. I wanted to go back and change Australia. I don't feel any guilt at all about this process."

Jones, who took charge of Australia for his second stint in January but left the Wallabies with two wins and seven losses in 2023, was asked if he needed to apologise to the country's fans but said he had given them everything.

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Jones hit out at journalists in his press conference and told them to stop asking questions after naming his Wallabies squad for the World Cup.

"It wasn't good enough. I had a plan of what we needed to do to change Australian rugby. We weren't able to do that," Jones said.

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"Rugby Australia weren't able to help support that so I decided to move on. I wish Australia all the best."

Jones, who will start his second stint as Japan head coach on January 1, said he hoped to help the Brave Blossoms maximise their potential after they reached the World Cup quarter-finals on home soil in 2019 before a pool stage exit in France this year.

"I'm looking forward to the task of creating a Japanese side that has real identity and a pointed difference," Jones said.

"Because we're a smaller team, we need to play the game faster with our feet and our heads than the opposition. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it."

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