Dual-code legend Mat Rogers has declared Eddie Jones would be a revelation as an NRL coach and is certain his former Wallabies mentor would take the jump to rugby league in his stride.
Rogers played under Jones for three years when he switched to the 15-man code in the early 2000s, and claims the current England rugby coach’s work ethic is among the best in sport.
Jones has been linked with Rogers’ former club at Cronulla, with reports suggesting the Sharks could consider him as an option to replace current coach John Morris.
The 60-year-old has never coached in rugby league, but Rogers believes from his dealings with Jones that his knowledge of the game and capacity for hard work mean he would quickly pick up the intricacies of the sport.
“He’d be a revelation,” dual-international Rogers told AAP.
“He has a brilliant mind. A brilliant sporting mind. And his work ethic is relentless. He knows the game of rugby league, he knows it really well.
“Alan Jones did it (at Balmain), and I would put Eddie Jones on another level in his work ethic. I can see him being a success 100 times over.
“There is no way I look at it where I can’t see him being a success, the way he operates.”
Jones is tied to English Rugby until 2023, and they have indicated there has been no request for a release.
Meanwhile Morris is under contract at Cronulla until the end of next season, and made the finals last year with a reduced salary cap.
Rogers has long believed Morris has the makings of a good NRL coach, but says he would encourage any team to pursue Jones.
He points to the way Jones built Japan’s national side ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and has subsequently turned England back into a powerhouse.
“He’s a brilliant coach and a hard taskmaster. He will get the best out of his players,” Rogers said.
“The great coaches demand a lot from their players.
“Look at Des Hasler, Craig Bellamy and Wayne Bennett. These guys are hard taskmasters but they are fair.
“Whoever landed (Jones) as coach would do well. It might be a year or two transition until he gets the squad he wants. But he is a career coach.”
Morris, whose side are aiming to recover from a 1-3 start when they face St George Illawarra on Sunday, said he had been surprised by reports of Cronulla’s interest in Jones .
“They came from left field,” he said. “I can’t control that, I can’t control the rumours or innuendo around the game … I can’t get caught up in off-field matters like that.
“My contract goes until the end of 2021. I’m really committed to this club and building something special.”