Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has revealed the major change in salary from his previous England role after his first media appearance in London for the Barbarians game against a World XV side on Sunday.
Jones returns to the city after being sacked by England’s Rugby Football Union in December 2022, stating he’s “moved on” from the decision.
The enigmatic mentor discussed a wide range of topics with the media and specifically spoke about his role with the Wallabies, describing himself as “almost a volunteer”.
READ MORE: Fittler lifts lid on snubbed star’s mystery Blues exit
READ MORE: Why rugby league fell in love with Tina Turner
READ MORE: ‘Incredibly difficult’: AFL giants quit Super Netball
“Post-England I always knew there were possibilities,” he said. “There was a country that was going to pay me as much as I’m getting – look, I’m almost a volunteer in Australia – that was going to pay me as much not to coach. So, there was always going to be a job there,” Jones said.
It’s been reported that Jones’ current salary is about $750,000-a-year after receiving a $1.5 million salary with England.
The 2017 World Rugby coach of the year went on the explain his motivations for taking on the role revolved around reviving the sport in Australia.
“When the opportunity came I jumped at it because rugby is in a fairly dark place and needs a bit of energy, needs a bit of direction and I can only do my bit coaching the national team but obviously I can do a job selling the game there, which I have taken on, so I am enjoying it,” he said.
“We definitely bought a rugby league player to get back in the shop window, that is 100 per cent true and now people are talking about rugby again. Then the other bits are just a bit of fun.”
Jones added his side needs to find its own identity.
Watch the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season on the home of rugby, Stan Sport. All matches streaming ad free, live and on demand
Lights go out on Shannon Parry’s farewell
“It is about raising the expectation of the players because their expectation has been too low and we need to raise it,” he said.
“We need to work a bit harder and need to create a style of rugby that is quintessentially Australian. We have been copying other teams and that is not the Australian way.
“It is more about intent. Australians, in whichever sport they play, are much better when they are aggressive, when they are positive, when they are in the face of the opposition, we are doing it our way and we are at the opposition with numbers at the line in attack and defence like mongrel dogs running around and that is where we are at our best.”
Part of the Australian identity could be barnstorming lock Will Skelton who Jones described as “enormous” in La Rochelle’s European Cup victory, along with five-eighth Quade Cooper.
Jones’ predecessor Dave Rennie helped revitalise Cooper’s international career with the 76-game Wallaby proving an important cog in the side before suffering an Achilles injury in August last year.
Jones compared Cooper to All Blacks legend Dan Carter as the five-eighth prepares to play alongside Samu Kerevi in the Barbarians side.
“They haven’t played a lot together so it’s a really good opportunity for those two to work together,” he said. “It’s exciting, the back line we could have. Power and pace, it’s frightening.”
“I look at (Cooper) like Dan Carter. He is a different sort of player but just from the maturity point of view.
“I last coached Quade (for Queensland in 2007) when he was a young swashbuckling, loose-as-you-can-be No.10 out of high school. Now he is a mature, serious, looks-after-his-body-like-a-temple rugby player with a good command of how he wants to play the game.”
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!