England coach Eddie Jones joins San Diego Legion as adviser

Los Angeles (AFP) –


England coach Eddie Jones is to join San Diego Legion as a part-time consultant to the franchise, the Major League Rugby club announced on Wednesday.

The Legion said Jones would advise the club on operations at "every level" either virtually or on the ground in San Diego.

"My primary commitment remains to my England duties and other international commitments, but I have a passion for growing the game of rugby," Jones said in a statement released by the club.

"I was very impressed by the vision and ambition shown by San Diego and its ownership in delivering a professional rugby outfit with the clear aim of winning trophies. I am excited to support them in that endeavor."

Legion chairman Darren Gardner said Jones had been recruited to help turn the club into a "world class rugby organization."

"Eddie Jones is the benchmark for professionalism and global achievement in rugby, and we are confident he is the best person to help us do that," Gardner said. "We are also very committed to winning a championship for San Diego, and we believe Eddie can play a key role in helping us to achieve that goal."

Jones led England to the final at last year's World Cup in Japan and also led the team to a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2016.

He previously coached Australia to the 2003 World Cup final and also coached Japan at the 2015 World Cup.

San Diego stressed Jones's work with the club would be fitted in around his England coaching responsibilities.

Jones agreed an extension to his existing England coaching contract earlier this year which will take the 60-year-old through to the 2023 World Cup in France.

San Diego have emerged as one of the strongest clubs in Major League Rugby, which launched in 2018. The Legion lost last season's championship final to Seattle Seawolves. The 2020 campaign was abandoned earlier this year due to the coronavirus epidemic.

The club has regularly looked overseas to recruit playing talent, notably signing former England captain Chris Robshaw for the 2021 and 2022 seasons as well as former All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu.