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RA checks with Eddie over return after Cup, Foster shielded by media manager, Irish prop avoids ban

The chances of Eddie Jones returning to Australia after his contract ends with England at the World Cup next year appear to be rising.

Jones has long stated his ambition to come home and on the back of the recent three-Test tour ending in triumph at his home town in Sydney, officials from Rugby Australia have reportedly made contact with the veteran coach.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, RA has started making overtures to Jones about whether he has any interest in returning to his home set-up, potentially in a director of rugby role or potentially as Wallabies coach.


Jones coached the Wallabies from 2001-05, engineering a semi-final upset over the All Blacks in the World Cup before losing the famous final at Sydney’s Olympic stadium to England in extra time via a drop goal.

New Zealander Dave Rennie has had a shaky start to his tenure as Wallabies coach since his appointment in 2020 with the 2-1 series loss to England dropping his success rate below 40%.

He is not under threat of losing the job until the World Cup next year when his contract expires. 

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 02: England coach Eddie Jones shakes hands with Nic White of the Wallabies during the warm-up before game one of the international test match series between the Australian Wallabies and England at Optus Stadium on July 02, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Eddie Jones shakes hands with Nic White. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

With Australia hosting the World Cup in 2027 for the first time since Jonny Wilkinson broke green and gold hearts in ‘03, the prospect of Jones returning to coach the Wallabies after stints in South Africa, Japan and England would add enormous interest in the lead-up to the event.

As he showed recently, Jones is still the master at creating publicity around matches and his charisma could help to bring fans back to rugby Down Under not just for the Cup.

RA is hoping to bank a windfall of profits from the Cup to invest back into the game from grassroots through to the professional ranks.

England coach Eddie Jones arrives for an England squad training session at Coogee Oval on July 12, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

England coach Eddie Jones. (Photo by Mark Evans – RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Media manager shields Foster from spotlight

The All Blacks’ media manager has revealed she made the decision for coach Ian Foster to not attend a press conference on Sunday in the wake of their shock series loss to Ireland in Wellington the night before.

Jo Malcolm placed a post on LinkedIn to say Foster “is a human being who I wanted to protect”.

“I decided not to demand that All Blacks head coach Ian Foster front late on Sunday morning. Not him,” she said.

“I felt he needed a day or so to work out what he wanted to say and not just be a punching bag for the media, who, let’s be clear, wanted blood.

“I’m loosing [sic] faith in peoples ability to be journalists, PR people AND be humans.

“It’s brutal when you loose [sic] and yes tough questions needs [sic] to be asked.

New Zealand head coach Ian Foster before the Autumn Nations Series match between Ireland and New Zealand at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

“Ian Foster and Sam Cane have been bagged so much in the media, I felt they needed a little space to think. My bad? Hindsight? I’ll take that hit. I am here to look after people as well as do comms.”

Foster is under pressure to keep his job as his record is the worst of any All Blacks coach since professionalism kicked off in the mid 1990s.

New Zealand Rugby issued a statement after the 2-1 series defeat to the new No.1-ranked nation to say it was “not acceptable” and the board is scheduled to meet on Wednesday.

Malcolm likened Foster’s situation to tennis star Naomi Osaka, who refused to attend press conferences because she thought they had a negative impact on her mental health.

Porter dodges ban for Retallick incident

Ireland prop Andrew Porter has avoided further punishment following the incident which left New Zealand second row Brodie Retallick with a fractured cheekbone.

Porter was sin-binned after a nasty clash of heads with Retallick early in the second half of the 32-22 win over the All Blacks in Saturday’s series decider in Wellington.

The 26-year-old was on Monday cited for the incident but the complaint has subsequently been dismissed by an independent judicial committee due to the “absorbing nature of the tackle”.

Although he admitted an act of foul play had been committed, Porter maintained the red card threshold had not been met.

The disciplinary panel concurred that the yellow card issued by English referee Wayne Barnes was correct.

A World Rugby statement read: “Having considered all the evidence, the independent committee applied World Rugby’s Head Contact Process and agreed with the match officials’ on-field decision that the player’s act of foul play did not meet the red card threshold due to the absorbing nature of the tackle.

“On that basis, the independent committee deemed the act of foul play did not merit further sanction, and the citing complaint was dismissed.”

All Blacks star Retallick is expected to be sidelined for at least six weeks.

The on-field decision of match official Barnes left New Zealand feeling aggrieved after Kiwi prop Angus Ta’avao was sent off and then hit with a three-week ban following a similar incident involving Garry Ringrose in the second Test.

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