All Blacks great Sonny Bill Williams calls Eddie Jones a ‘disgrace’, Latest Others News - The New Paper

All Blacks great Sonny Bill Williams calls Eddie Jones a ‘disgrace’

PERTH – All Blacks great Sonny Bill Williams launched a stinging attack on Eddie Jones on Dec 14, calling him a “disgrace” who “obviously lied” to the Australian players and fans.

Jones was appointed Japan’s head coach on Dec 13, six weeks after the Australian quit the Wallabies following their dismal showing at the Rugby World Cup.

The 63-year-old had repeatedly denied being linked with the job during the tournament and two-time World Cup winner Williams, now a pundit, said: “It’s quite sad, isn’t it?

“My thoughts on this whole saga is that he lied,” Williams, who also played rugby league and had a successful boxing career, told Australian broadcaster Channel Nine.

“Obviously he lied to the players, he lied to the public, he lied to the Australian rugby union. What a disgrace.”

During his time with the Wallabies where he took charge in January after being fired by England, Jones won two of nine Tests, including a worst-ever World Cup where they failed to make it out of the pool phase.

“Second point would be, I feel sorry for Japan. His track record speaks for itself,” added Williams.

Jones, who will officially take over on Jan 1, previously coached Japan for three years from 2012.

Obviously he lied to the players, he lied to the public, he lied to the Australian rugby union. What a disgrace.All Blacks' Sonny Bill Williams

He is well respected in the country, especially after leading Japan to their greatest rugby triumph, masterminding their “Miracle of Brighton” win over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup.

But he will have plenty to prove as his reputation has taken a beating after a disastrous 10-month Wallabies spell.

Jones is, however, still likely to get a warm welcome in Japan, where he has family ties and spent large chunks of his professional life. He was born in Tasmania but his mother is a Japanese-American while his wife is Japanese.

Jones first coached in Japan in the 1990s and returned to lead Tokyo Sungoliath in 2009, before taking over the national team three years later.

He maintained a presence in the country even after leaving to take the England job in 2015, with a long-term consultancy role with Sungoliath.

He recently told reporters in Yokohama that Japanese rugby had “always been my passion”.

A tough coach who bases a lot of his work on the application of science, Jones turned Japan into bulldog-fit competitors for the 2015 World Cup.

As well as the stunning triumph over South Africa, they also beat Samoa and the United States, but failed to advance past the group stage.

Their achievements sparked a wave of rugby fever in baseball-mad Japan, with Jones hailed a hero.

Despite his recent failings, Japan’s players are unlikely to find that he has mellowed.

His thirst for a challenge does not appear to have run dry either, telling reporters in November that he wants to implement major changes in Japanese rugby.

“You’re going to have to be courageous and you’re going to have to do things differently,” he said.

“In terms of experience and learning, the older you get, the better the coach you are. I am a much better coach than I was this time last year.” – AFP

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