By Anthony Stavrinos


Unless Eddie Jones can drastically reshuffle his defence
and pull off the pep talk of his life, today could represent the end of the
road in his tenure as Wallabies coach. Jones was locked in talks with the Australian Rugby
Union at its headquarters in Sydney all morning.

A defiant Jones, speaking on Sydney radio station 2KY
on his way to the crucial meeting this morning, was adamant he would not be
walking, but would accept the decision if he was axed.

But how genuine the sports chiefs were about
listening to arguments in his defence was clear in an ARU announcement that
chief executive Gary Flowers will front a press conference at 2.30pm to make a
“significant announcement.”

Jones said he wasn’t aware of any decision to sack him
but suggested details could have been leaked by those out to get him.

“We have (had) a couple of chats, obviously
information gets out from the ARU that is not supposed to get and those sources
get it out because they want to get it out … you’ve got to just take it, have
a look at it and make your own decision,” Jones said.

Jones has maintained his battle
to stay on as coach despite facing a growing throng of detractors.

Channel Nine and its website NineMSN was carrying this report this
morning that Jones had already resigned.

His predecessor Alan Jones, was enthusiastically putting
the boot in
as late as yesterday and no doubt on his breakfast radio
program on Sydney’s 2GB this morning. And The Australian newspaper today reported “overseas sources” as
confirming Jones’s departure despite being contracted until the end of the 2007
World Cup.

Pressure has mounted on Jones, and captain George Gregan, after the
Wallabies’
poor season, including only one win in a recent four Test tour to
Europe. The most recent loss to Wales in Cardiff forced a sudden change
in Jones’s plans to swiftly return home and face the
music.