Jones — who coached Japan at the Rugby World Cup — travelled to London for talks with the Rugby Football Union and with the level of compensation for his release from his contract with South African club Stormers negotiated, the way was cleared for the 55-year-old’s appointment.
The Cape Town-based Stormers were seeking “final clarity on the situation”, but have called a briefing this morning during which they are expected to confirm his departure.
In a further development, former South Africa coach Jake White ruled himself out of contention to fill any position at Twickenham after declaring his future belongs to Montpellier.
Reports state the RFU is ready to create a director of rugby role and that White had been identified as a suitable fit, but the 52-year-old insisted on Thursday he is to remain in the Top 14.
“It’s important for the club, players and atmosphere to remove the doubt. I told the president I wanted to stay here,” said White, who stated last week he was interested in succeeding Stuart Lancaster.
One appointment which looks certain is Jones though.
Australia captain Stephen Moore believes the RFU have got the right man.
Moore, who led Australia to last month’s World Cup final via a record 33-13 victory over England, has a positive outlook after backing the credentials of a man who gave him his first cap 10 years ago.
“Eddie is very thorough and always brings a lot of attention to detail,” said Moore, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s clash between the Barbarians and Argentina at Twickenham.
“Eddie’s like a global citizen. He’s coached all around the world. He’s a very professional guy and he won’t see nationality as an issue at all. He’ll have an idea of how he’ll want England to play.”
Veteran South Africa lock Bakkies Botha, who worked under Jones at South Africa, where Jones was in an advisory role, hailed the Australian’s vision and meticulous preparation.
“If Eddie is appointed it will be a good step and a positive step forward for England. If it happens, the Stormers’ loss will be England’s gain. He will definitely be a success. He knows what he wants.”
Worcester’s director of rugby Dean Ryan, however, offered an alternative view. Ryan points out a lengthy CV that includes spells with the Wallabies, Springboks, Saracens, Brumbies and Reds shows as many failures as successes and demanded, if appointed, he grooms a prominent Englishman as his successor.
“Jones certainly comes with a CV packed with trophies and plaudits, yet the ups are often mirrored by some pretty difficult-to-ignore slumps,” Ryan said in his column for The Guardian.
“Unsurprisingly given this record, the message I hear from inside the game is that he polarises opinion. Depending on who you speak to, you hear he was fantastic or he was horrendous. There’s very little in between.
“We should not be throwing all our eggs into the basket of Eddie Jones. We should be looking at using his skills to put English rugby into a strong position, and that will involve getting an English coach ready to take over.
“His big challenge must be to convince a number one from the Premiership to be his number two.
“There has to be the responsibility to develop an England head coach for the future. English rugby needs to use Jones, not allow him to use us.”