Saracens rugby club have announced that head coach Eddie Jones has officially decided to step down as Director of Rugby after just one season with the Guinness Premiership club.
Rugby 365 reports that Jones, who coached Australia to the World Cup final in 2003, says he has chosen to leave the club for purely ‘personal reasons’ but stories have been doing the rounds for a number of weeks recently stating that Jones has become disillusioned with life at Vicarage Road.
Having served as a techincal assistant to Jake White during the Springboks successful 2007 World Cup campaign Jones joined Saracens at the start of the current Premiership campaign, although he had previsouly served at the club as an advisor as well. The Australian will stay in the post until July 1 2009 when he will be replaced by former Springbok centre Brendan Venter.
In a statement released by the club on Monday morning Jones said: “After careful consideration, I have decided to leave Saracens at the end of the current season. My reasons are entirely personal. My wife and daughter have always given me unqualified support but it is now time for me to put the family needs first.
“I have greatly enjoyed my time with Saracens extending back to 2006 and I wish the directors, staff and players well in the future.
“Naturally I remain 100% committed to the Saracens cause and eagerly look forward to building on the progress we have made this season and ensuring we challenge for a top 4 finish in the Premiership and maintain our strong momentum in the European Challenge Cup.”
Chairman Nigel Wray said that he was disappointed to see Jones leave the club but was pleased that the club had already found a replacement.
“Obviously we are all very disappointed to lose Eddie, but we are very grateful for all his hard work, inspiration and the terrific structural changes he has made at the club, which will hold us in great stead for the future. I know that we will all remain friends and keep in close contact,” saod Wray.
“Brendan has an outstanding knowledge of the Guinness Premiership, following his success as coach at London Irish, and he has become well known and well respected at Saracens during the course of this season, after being introduced and recommended by Eddie as a specialist coach. We warmly welcome him to the club on a full-time basis.”Tweet