Eddie Jones: Best and Worst Moments in His Rugby Coaching Career

Eddie Jones is one of the most recognizable and polarizing figures in the world of rugby coaching. With a career spanning over two decades, Jones has experienced both remarkable triumphs and significant setbacks. This article explores the highs and lows of Eddie Jones’s coaching career, detailing his best and worst moments.

Eddie Jones insists 'I've had no job offers' despite Rugby Australia  resignation amid Japan return rumours | Rugby Union News | Sky Sports

Best Moments

  1. Leading Australia to the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final

Eddie Jones’s rise to prominence began with the Australian national team. Appointed head coach in 2001, Jones quickly made an impact. His most notable achievement came in 2003 when he guided the Wallabies to the Rugby World Cup final on home soil. Despite losing to England in a dramatic extra-time finale, Jones’s tactical acumen and leadership were widely praised.

  1. Transforming the Brumbies

Before taking on the Wallabies, Jones made his mark in Super Rugby with the ACT Brumbies. As head coach from 1998 to 2001, he transformed the Brumbies into a formidable force, leading them to their first Super Rugby title in 2001. This success laid the foundation for his national coaching career and cemented his reputation as a top-level coach.

  1. Historic Win with Japan at the 2015 Rugby World Cup

One of the most iconic moments in rugby history was Japan’s stunning victory over South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup, often referred to as the “Brighton Miracle.” As head coach of Japan, Jones masterminded this historic win, which not only showcased his strategic brilliance but also highlighted his ability to inspire and elevate underdog teams. This victory is considered one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

  1. Revitalizing England Rugby

In 2015, Jones took over as head coach of England following their disappointing World Cup campaign. His impact was immediate and profound. Under his leadership, England won the 2016 Six Nations Championship with a Grand Slam, their first since 2003. He led England to another Six Nations title in 2017, and his tenure included a record-equalling run of 18 consecutive Test wins. The pinnacle of his time with England came in 2019 when he guided the team to the Rugby World Cup final, defeating the reigning champions, New Zealand, in the semi-finals. Although they lost to South Africa in the final, Jones’s tactical ingenuity and motivational skills were on full display.

  1. Coaching South Africa as Technical Advisor

In 2007, Jones served as a technical advisor to the South African national team during the Rugby World Cup. His contributions were instrumental in the Springboks’ successful campaign, which culminated in winning the World Cup. This period added another prestigious accolade to Jones’s coaching resume.

Worst Moments

  1. Australia’s 2005-2006 Decline

After the high of the 2003 World Cup, Jones’s tenure with the Wallabies took a downturn. The team struggled with inconsistent performances, culminating in a series of poor results in 2005. Australia won only one match in the Tri-Nations and suffered a streak of seven consecutive losses, leading to Jones’s dismissal in 2005. This period was a stark contrast to his earlier success and marked one of the lowest points in his coaching career.

  1. Short Stint with Queensland Reds

Following his departure from the Wallabies, Jones took over the Queensland Reds in 2007. His time with the Reds was short-lived and tumultuous. The team finished last in the Super Rugby standings, winning just two matches all season. Jones resigned after just one year, citing personal reasons, but the disastrous season undoubtedly tarnished his reputation at the time.

  1. Disappointing End with England

While Eddie Jones had many successes with England, his final years were marked by a decline in performance and increasing criticism. The 2020 Six Nations was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but England managed to win the title. However, the 2021 Six Nations campaign was a disaster, with England finishing fifth, their worst performance since 1983. Jones faced significant scrutiny over his selections and tactics. Despite a brief resurgence, the 2022 Six Nations saw England finishing third, and poor performances in the Autumn Internationals ultimately led to his dismissal in December 2022. This period highlighted the volatile nature of international coaching and the fine margins between success and failure.

  1. Struggles with Japan in the Early Years

Before the historic 2015 World Cup victory, Jones’s tenure with Japan had its struggles. The team faced heavy defeats against stronger nations, and Jones’s methods were sometimes questioned. It took time for his strategies to take effect, and the initial years were challenging as he worked to change the culture and playing style of Japanese rugby.


Eddie Jones’s coaching career is a testament to the highs and lows that come with elite sports management. His ability to transform teams and achieve historic victories showcases his tactical genius and motivational prowess. However, his career has also been marked by periods of struggle and controversy, reflecting the inherent challenges of coaching at the highest level.

From leading Australia to a World Cup final and orchestrating Japan’s “Brighton Miracle” to revitalizing England rugby, Jones’s best moments have left an indelible mark on the sport. Conversely, his worst moments serve as reminders of the volatility and pressures of international coaching. As Eddie Jones continues to influence the rugby world, his career remains a fascinating study in resilience, adaptation, and the pursuit of excellence.

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