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Eddie Jones isn’t as comfortable as you might think on his return to Japan for the Rugby World Cup.
In fact, the England coach is expecting a rollercoaster ride and is holding onto his seat.
“We’re at the top of the ride now. We’re looking down. Everyone’s nervous, everyone’s excited,” Jones told a news conference on Friday. “You get down the first slope, you’re not quite sure if you’re going to throw up or hang on.”
Jones’ descriptive preview of England’s opening game against Tonga on Sunday – and England’s tournament at large – hinted at what’s at stake for one of the Rugby World Cup’s most experienced figures.
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Jones has featured prominently in three previous World Cups; he took his native Australia to the final against England in 2003, and within a Jonny Wilkinson extra-time dropped goal of the title. He helped South Africa win as an assistant coach in 2007. He then caused the mightiest shock in tournament history when his Japan team beat the Springboks four years ago in England.
In 2019, he’s a little uneasy, even if he’s back in a country that’s almost as familiar and dear to him as Australia.
Jones has nearly a decade of experience coaching in Japan, in club rugby as well as the national team. His mother is Japanese-American. His wife is Japanese. He’s appearing on promotional videos for Japan’s Rugby World Cup, the first in Asia. And local reporters here call him “Eddie-san.”
All that’s of little help now, he said. Probably because of the large lump of expectation he has on his shoulders this time after England made him reportedly the highest-paid coac
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