BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – Once Japan coach Eddie Jones finally decides to hang up the tracksuit for good, he may think about doing some stand-up comedy for a living.
Of course, it’s always easy to smile and laugh when you win — and Jones has lost enough games to know that — but the 55-year-old had the press room at Brighton Community Stadium eating out of the palm of his hand and even brought a smile to the faces of the shell-shocked South African scribes following the Brave Blossoms’ sensational 34-32 win over South Africa on Saturday evening.
“It looked at one stage when they got seven points ahead that they would run away with it,” he said. “That would have been the normal scenario, like the horror story where the woman goes for a shower after midnight and you know what’s going to happen.”
Instead the Brave Blossoms dug in and kept bouncing back, culminating in Karne Hesketh’s amazing try in the corner well into injury time.
Jones has always said he wants to get Japan into the quarterfinals and he brought up old nemesis Sir Clive Woodward — whose England team defeated Jones’ Australia in the 2003 World Cup final — when asked if he could achieve that goal.
“If we do that, then I can retire happy with my dream to be like Sir Clive on TV as a critic,” Jones said. “That’s my dream.”
When asked about the short turnaround that sees Japan have just three days off before it plays Scotland in Gloucester on Wednesday, he said “We are at the bottom of the food chain, the little fish at the bottom of the ocean and we just have to eat what comes our way.”
Jones is a keen cricket fan, who wielded the willow for the Yokohama Country & Athletic Club against the Japan national side a couple of years ago, and he brought up the sport and his age in one final quip.
“Look, I’m too old for this,” he said. “At my age I should be in Barbados watching cricket.”
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