Eddie Jones named Australia coach; Jamie Osborne impressing at the right time

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Guess who’s back. In a stunning turn of events late last night, Eddie Jones has returned to coaching. His native Australia has removed Dave Rennie from his job as national team head coach, replacing him with Jones on a long-term deal. The former England boss will take charge of the Wallabies in two World Cups, 2023 and 2027, as well as during the 2025 Lions tour. What’s more, Jones will oversee the women’s team - the Wallaroos - in a unique coaching structure that encompasses both senior national teams.

Closer to home, Gerry Thornley today analyses where the provinces stand heading into the final round of Champions Cup pool action next weekend. Leinster, with a massive points differential, need only a win over Racing in all likelihood to ensure top seed and guarantee all of their knockout games will be in Dublin, should they keep winning. Their win over Gloucester on Saturday helped greatly in securing such a good position, player of the match Jamie Osborne putting in a big individual display that puts him firmly into the Six Nations reckoning ahead of this week’s squad announcement. Down in Limerick, Gavin Coombes and Tadhg Beirne impressed in Munster’s win over Northampton.

Maybe Manchester City can find a quick solution to this tension, but right now they are playing like a team that is not quite sure of itself,” writes Ken Early in his Monday column. Until this weekend, you would have backed Pep Guardiola’s side to go on the type of magic winning run to overhaul Arsenal at the top of the league, but it now looks like they are suffering from the same burnout as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool. All of a sudden, Mikel Arteta’s outfit are now eight points clear and Manchester United, not City, are the side with the momentum looking the most likely to challenge them. All of this comes after Arsenal’s thumping derby win over Spurs and United seeing off arch rivals City. Tempers flared following that North London derby when a Tottenham fan attacked Arsenal ‘keeper Aaron Ramsdale, an action that is likely to lead to a ban.

The Australian Open has gotten underway, the headline result so far being Emma Raducanu’s 6-3 6-2 first round win over Tamara Korpatsch in Melbourne. The result sets up a tantalising second round clash between Raducanu - who came through her match unscathed after recovering from an ankle injury and Coco Gauff of the USA. On the men’s side of the draw, Nick Kyrgios has had to withdraw from his home Grand Slam event due to injury.