Eddie Jones on Lions shortlist

Former Australia coach and Springbok technical advisor Eddie Jones is thought to be amongst the contenders to coach the British and Irish Lions 2009 tour of South Africa.

Only once have the the Lions been coached by a foreigner and that was back in 2001 when have New Zealand’s Graham Henry lost the series 2-1 to Australia. The British and Irish Lions thought that Henry was the best man for the job at the time partly due to him being a New Zealander and everyone knows how much the Kiwis like beating the Aussies.

The 2005 tour was a failure. It was a great success for the All Blacks and for those who went for the beer but not for the British and Irish Lions Rugby fans. Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan was regarded as the leading contender but the failure of his team to reach the knockout phase of the World Cup was major setback to his chances.

According to AFP  Scotland’s Ian McGeechan, previously coach of several Lions sides, is another possibility as are Eddie Jones and New Zealand’s Warren Gatland who next month becomes coach of Wales having already been in charge of Ireland and London Wasps. 

Eddie Jones might not be as crazy of a choice as it first sounds. He recently annoyed the Australians by taking up the post of Springbok technical advisor. He has been involved in the coaching in one or way or another of teams that have reached the last two world cup finals and he now has intricate knowledge of the Springboks.

Jake White has decided to take Six months off from coaching after his contract ends at the end of the year so he must surely be in contention for the role too.

“Selection of the coach will not take place until after the Six Nations next year,” said Lions chief executive John Feehan yesterday when they announced a record sponsorship deal.

“We feel it will be appropriate to wait until after then because it gives many potential candidates the opportunity to prove themselves. ” he added.


“The process will be that each of the unions will be invited to submit a name. However, that will not be the exclusive route.

“If there’s an alternative candidate who’s a better option, then he will also be considered.”


The Lions’ committee, which will select the coach, is made up of one representative from each of the four constituent countries.


They are all former internationals with Andy Irvine (Scotland), Bill Beaumont (England) and Ireland’s Noel Murphy alongside Davies.

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