Australia coach Michael Cheika is already looking to next summer’s series against England in anticipation after his long-standing friend Eddie Jones was placed in charge of the Red Rose.
Jones was appointed Stuart Lancaster’s successor on Friday and once the Six Nations competition has been negotiated, the 55-year-old will begin preparations for a three-Test tour against Cheika’s World Cup runners-up.
The pair played in the same pack at Randwick and have remained in close contact since, but Cheika insists their relationship will be put to one side when they lock horns in June.
“There’s no such thing as friends when the game’s on, brother,” said Cheika, speaking after the Barbarians had lost 49-31 to Argentina at Twickenham.
“When the game’s on, it’s the battlefield and when it’s over, life returns to how we know it.
“There will be a bit of banter when the tour comes and that’s good fun because we both enjoy that.
“I want Eddie to be happy, but I don’t want him to do too well obviously. He’s a bit older (seven years) so has given me the odd bit of advice here and there, which I’ve appreciated.
“I know that won’t be happening any more though and he won’t be wanting me to do well!
“That’ll be the relationship and I’m looking forward to the opportunity of when we go up against each other.
“I’m really proud that we’re both Australian and from the same club, but will be doing battle in a different arena.”
Cheika insists Jones, whose extensive coaching CV includes spells with Australia, South Arica and Japan, will prove a wise appointment by England.
“I’m a mate of Eddie’s so I can only speak highly of him. He’ll be a good fit for what’s required over here,” Cheika said.
“He’ll enjoy it, is an international level coach and will do very well. This is the sort of level he should be coaching at.
“He’ll bring the style of play he believes will suit England best. I’m sure we’ll see that pretty much straight away in the Six Nations.
“He will pick a staff to support what he wants to do and those will be the guys he’ll be looking to bring through.”