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Jones – ‘I’m not here to coach the Boks’

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Eddie Jones is enjoying his present ‘consultation period’ with Jake White’s Springboks – but the former Wallaby coach has stressed that he is not in South Africa to coach the national team, he is simply here to ‘exchange ideas’.

Jones – who coached the Queensland Reds during the 2007 Super 14 – raised a few eyebrows when he turned up at training in full Bok kit on Monday – but the always-jovial coach was quick to refute claims that he would be playing a long-term hands-on role in SA.

“I’m not here to coach; I’m merely here to exchange ideas,” Jones said after training on Tuesday morning.

“Jake and I have been doing this for a while now; it’s good fun, it’s good for me and hopefully I can add some value to the Springboks.”

Jones will be looking to help South Africa’s attacking and tactical play ahead of the World Cup, but he has no intention of changing South Africa’s entire approach during his one-week stay ahead of his .

“I don’t want to change the things that South Africa does so well, but maybe I can add a bit here and there,” he said. “The Boks have been very successful over the past three or four years, but a few new ideas or a different perspective wouldn’t hurt.”

Jones is hoping that more coaches will follow his lead and visit different countries and teams across the globe in pursuit of coaching excellence.

“I’ve coached Australia and Japan, I’ve helped out with Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and Italy lately – it’s not an exclusive club, you know,” said Jones. “I love coaching and I love bettering myself as a coach.”

But when asked about the significance of swapping a Wallaby tracksuit for a Springbok one this week, Jones looked down at his chest, before replying with a typically wry smile: “Sure it’s different… But I’m a professional.”

By Howard Kahn 365 Digital

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