Pointers for NZ Rugby as Wallabies welcome back Jones

It's been just over three years since Eddie Jones called the New Zealand rugby media "fans with keyboards". It got an enduring laugh because all good gags have an element of truth in them.

That was a few days before Jones's England side famously beat the All Blacks in a World Cup semifinal, dumping them out of the tournament.

Because of the All Blacks' and England's scarcity of fixtures, Jones didn't get another chance to have a dig at New Zealand till late last year, when somehow his side came back from 25-6 down with 10 minutes left to tie the scores at fulltime. Had Marcus Smith not sent one conversion wide, it would have been remembered as one of the greatest English victories ever.

Afterwards, it seemed as though that result was enough for Jones to tighten his grip enough on the England coaching job through to the 2023 World Cup. He certainly gave off the body language of someone at ease, but that had been par for the course for Jones throughout his rollercoaster ride in charge.

Turns out we were wrong. The RFU sacked Jones only a fortnight later, sending rugby social media into overdrive as to who would replace him.

Fittingly, Jones did the same thing yesterday, being perhaps the only rugby personality alongside maybe Rassie Erasmus to have that ability. Dave Rennie was out as Wallaby coach after a little over two years, Jones is back at the helm of his country of birth, to try and win a World Cup he got so agonisingly close to 20 years ago.

Just how will it go? It's too early to tell, but if 103-test Wallaby Matt Giteau's tweet is anything to go by, there may well be a few feelings hurt between now and then.

But of course, we are New Zealanders after all, so really what we are asking ourselves is how this affects the All Blacks and NZ Rugby. First off, it certainly feels like a bit of a power play by Rugby Australia boss Hamish McClennan to show the NZR board how to act decisively during a run of poor results.

Secondly, it's made things very interesting in the lead up to the Bledisloe Cup - a trophy the Wallabies haven't held since Jones was last in charge. The rumours are that the Australian leg of the fixture will take place at the gigantic Melbourne Cricket Ground, and Jones will know full well how to ramp up the headlines to get it as close to a capacity 100,000 crowd as possible (don't count on the All Blacks having any idea of how to do the same, however).

Then there's the now jobless Rennie, who it's pretty hard not to feel sorry for. He had a wretched time last season with injuries, the usual Australian issue of their paddling pool-like player depth and an extreme case of bad luck in Bledisloe I thanks to a pedantic referee. Rennie certainly deserved better, but what happens to him now?

He certainly isn't going to be unemployed for long. While it's likely he'll follow the lucrative road to Japan or France, there is a chance Rennie could end up back in Super Rugby post the World Cup as there will likely be a job going at the Crusaders, perhaps one at the Blues and who knows with the Highlanders. It's a long shot, but any of those gigs would be far less volatile than the Premier League-like hiring and firing trends at test level right now. Or maybe, just maybe, he will start thinking about a tilt at what could be an open position with the All Blacks next year.

Rennie certainly leaves the Wallaby job with many in Australia questioning McClennan's wisdom, especially given Jones's propensity to eventually get offside with the people who have hired him.

At least it answers the question as to how long it takes RA to rebuild a burnt bridge: two decades. Fast Eddie's back, and whether you like it or not, you're going to be hearing a lot from him this season.