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Eddie Jones interview on England and Wallabies coaching tenures

Eddie Jones has admitted he was “too hard” on the Wallabies players during the start of his tenure with Australia in the early 2000s.

But the legendary rugby coach has denied claims that his tough taskmaster reputation was the reason for his demise as England boss this month.

Jones was sacked as England coach ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup and former assistant Steve Borthwick has now been confirmed as his replacement.

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The 62-year-old is now in hot demand as he plots his next move – beyond coaching the Barbarians against a World XV at Twickenham.

Jones reflected on his evolution in an interview with French publication Midi Olimpique.

“I was certainly too hard on the players 20 years ago, when I started with the Wallabies,” he told the French newspaper.

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“But I have evolved a lot in my management over the years. I even think that I have been too nice to the players in recent years.”

Jones also expanded on the background to his final days as England coach, following a dismal 2022 season that included five wins, six losses and a draw.

“I had a meeting with the senior directors of the RFU,” Jones said.

“I felt, that day, that the atmosphere was bizarre. They were not like they usually are with me. After that, the British media became more and more critical.

“I understood then that the end was nigh.”

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney also spoke to reporters after Borthwick was confirmed as Jones’ replacement.

Sweeney denied there was a breakdown in the relationship with Jones and said he would be “amazed” if Jones was not with a team at the 2023 World Cup.

”We weren’t convinced it was going to get better,” Sweeney said of the Jones era.

“I don’t think you can have an obsession with a World Cup once every four years and write everything else off for that goal.

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“We want to win every Six Nations and we should want to win every Six Nations game.

“Most conversations with Eddie tend to revolve around World Cups, whether that is because of his previous experiences there, or because he’s never won one.

“You’ve got to be competitive in the Six Nations, not just every four years.”

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