The Rugby Football Union has confirmed that England head coach Eddie Jones will not be attending the funeral of former Randwick coach Jeff Sayle, who died on Monday.
Jones explored the possibility of flying from Tokyo to Sydney to be present for the service that will be held Friday, but the logistics of the journey have persuaded him against it.
England have already qualified for the World Cup quarter-finals after defeating Argentina and they face France on Saturday to determine who finishes top of Pool C.
Jones, who was coached by Sayle at Randwick, had considered departing Japan after Thursday’s team announcement and returning on the morning of the climax to the group phase.
PA Media understands that former Wallaby Glen Ella, who provided coaching assistance to England in 2016, will pass on condolences to Sayle’s family on Jones’ behalf.
“Obviously I’d like to go because Jeff was a great mate of mine, but I’ve got a lot of responsibility coaching England at the World Cup. I’m conscious of that,” Jones said.
“The travel makes it difficult so, much as I’d like to go, I will be staying in Japan.”