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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 07:08 GMT
Jones safe in hot seat
Australia coach Eddie Jones
Jones has a 60% winning record
Australia coach Eddie Jones has been assured his job is safe whatever the result of the World Cup campaign.

Jones was hired in 2001 with the express aim of successfully defending Australia's world title tag.

However, the Wallabies have played poorly on home soil and are outsiders to beat New Zealand in Sydney in their semi-final on Saturday.

"Win, lose or draw, Eddie Jones is the coach next year," Australian Rugby Union chief John O'Neil said.

"His job is not under threat and never has been," O'Neill added.

"We've done absolutely sensationally well to get to the semi-finals and we're in the game now."

Jones' overall Test record since taking over from Rod MacQueen after the Lions series in 2001 looks good on paper - 18 wins, 11 losses and one draw.

But his side's record against the top countries including New Zealand, South Africa, England and France is not as impressive, at seven wins, 11 losses and a draw.

During his tenure the Wallabies have surrendered both the Bledisloe Cup and Tri-Nations title to New Zealand.

When asked whether he wanted to stay in the job, Jones suggested he would stay irrespective of their World Cup result.

"I'm contracted until the end of next year so I'm extremely keen," he said.

He admitted that a winning record was a measure of success, but also said there were other tangibles that should be taken into account.

"When people look at a team and how they perform it's your percentage winning record that counts.

"That's one objective, the other subjective is how has the team moved on. The performance of the team now is the most important thing to look at.

"Certainly Saturday's game will give us a pretty fair indication of where we've gone from the start of the year until where we are now."





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