Eddie Jones would "definitely be interested" in a coaching position in Japan but has not yet received an offer, Japanese media reported on Wednesday, citing the former England and Australia coach.
The 63-year-old Australian has been strongly linked with a return to the helm of the team he managed from 2012 to 2015, a week after resigning as Wallabies coach following a disastrous spell ten months at the head of the team, concluded with an unprecedented elimination from the World Cup in France in the group stage.
“There was no offer, let's be clear,” Jones said, according to Kyodo News and other Japanese media.
“If they came to me and asked me if I would be interested in training them, I would certainly be interested,” he assured, however.
Jones' wife is Japanese and lives in the country while his mother is Japanese-American.
Jones is believed to top a list of candidates from the Japan Rugby Union Federation (JRFU) which also includes South African Frans Ludeke, who led the Kubota Spears to the Japanese title last season.
Ludeke is expected to be auditioned this month for the job, which former coach Jamie Joseph vacated after Japan were eliminated in the first round of the World Cup.
Australian media reported that Jones had an online interview with the JRFU while coaching the Wallabies at the World Cup, which he vigorously denied.
“Japan cannot stay where it is, because if it stays where it is, it will start to regress,” Jones told reporters in Yokohama.