Former Brumbies and Wallabies have rallied to support Jones following what appeared to be a minor stroke in Japan on Tuesday.
- Date October 18, 2013
Sports Writer, The Canberra Times
Former Wallabies and Brumbies coach Eddie Jones is a ”perfectionist” who has built a career on an unbeatable work ethic and passion to succeed, Australian great Stephen Larkham says.
The 53-year-old, who now coaches Japan, was taken to hospital where he is said to have suffered some paralysis of his left side. According to reports, he was able to converse.
Former Brumbies coach Andy Friend said Jones was the ”Mecca” of Japanese rugby.
Friend now coaches the Canon Eagles in Japan’s Top League competition and has worked closely with Jones in developing the country’s rugby talent.
”He’s the Mecca, pretty much what he says goes over here,” Friend said. ”He’s very highly regarded.
”Japan is all about a work ethic and Eddie probably has the biggest work ethic there is in the game. He fits the Japanese culture and he’s very astute as a coach.”
Jones led Japan to victory against Wales for the first time this year.
He coached Larkham at the Brumbies and the Wallabies.
”You think the worst when you see the headline with ‘stroke’ in it,” Larkham said.
”Eddie was very dedicated and passionate as a coach. He spent a lot of hours preparing, he spent more time in the office than anyone else. He’s continued that work ethic in Japan, he’s a perfectionist and has a big workload in Japanese rugby.”
Jones was preparing the Japanese team for a historic clash against New Zealand in Tokyo on November 2.
It will the first time the All Blacks have played a Test in Japan.
Former Brumbies coach Jake White was considering flying from South Africa to Japan to be by Jones’ side.
Jones was White’s assistant coach when the Springboks won the World Cup in 2007.
Jones also led the Brumbies to a Super Rugby title in 2001 before guiding the Wallabies into the 2003 World Cup before he was sacked in 2005.
Despite being based in Japan, Jones has been a crucial element in the Brumbies’ success over the past two seasons.
White recruited him as a consultant coach and Larkham still uses Jones as a sounding board.
”He always had good honesty towards the players, he didn’t beat around the bush and was brutally honest sometimes,” Larkham said.
”He was great at getting the best out of individuals. I’ve been speaking to Eddie on and off since he finished off in Australia. I had some good meetings before I started coaching [in 2011].
”He has immense knowledge of coaching in rugby and in general and he’s great to bounce ideas off.”
Stirling Mortlock, Adam Freier and Matt Giteau were among a host of former Wallabies and Brumbies sending messages of support to Jones.
”Eddie has a very, very good work ethic and that sets that standard for everyone around him,” Jones’ Brumbies and Wallabies predecessor Rod Macqueen said.
”Eddie can be very proud of what he’s done … He’s never stopped coaching, he’s a true full-time professional coach.”