Jones turns back on Oz

EDDIE Jones believes he'll never coach in Australia again after ending a tumultuous and 'dreadful' sole season in charge of Queensland. Jones will help the Super 14 wooden-spooners look for their sixth coach in seven years in the next month after taking QRU chiefs by some surprise and quitting yesterday. His decision comes 17 months after being axed as national coach following eight losses in the last nine Tests of 2005. Jones' 2-11 Super 14 win-loss record left him with an unsavoury 3-19 record from his last 22 top-line matches as a head coach. But Queensland, also in spite of endless speculation, still wanted to keep the man who led the Brumbies to the 2001 Super 12 title and Australia to the 2003 World Cup final. Jones only last week agreed to a plan to help groom his successor by finishing up with the Reds in May 2008 but had a change of heart over the weekend. He admitted speculation over his job - which intensified after the horror 92-3 record loss to the Bulls a fortnight ago - had played a part, as had a desire to move his family to London. Jones has a consultancy contract with English club Saracens, as he does in Japan with Suntory, and is expected to take over there some time after leaving Brisbane by the end of July. It's almost certain he will ride into the sunset forever after indicating '100 per cent' his future lay overseas. While Jones originally said he wanted to coach Australia again after being sacked in December 2005, he recently told AAP he had no desire to have his old job back. He can earn far more in the Northern Hemisphere and the European season - chock-full of 35 matches per season - suits his workaholic style better than a three-month Super 14 season. "I think I've been lucky enough to coach the Brumbies, Australia and Queensland now and I've had a pretty good go of it," he said yesterday. "I'm looking forward to moving overseas and living in a different country and possibly take on a coaching career over there." His decision ends a rocky year where he has regularly attacked the Australian Rugby Union and failed to properly end speculation he was set to leave Ballymore at a moment's notice. QRU chairman Peter Lewis partly blamed the 'three months notice' get-out clause in Jones' initial three-year contract, included under the previous administration for the speculation. While Jones denied his confidence in his coaching had been affected, he admitted he'd left the Reds with little to be happy with after an injury-dogged campaign. "It's been a dreadful season," he said.



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