Eddie Jones in talks with Stormers
Cape Town - Japan coach Eddie Jones has shot down reports he has signed a contract to take over South Africa's Stormers but said on Tuesday he was "chatting" with the Super Rugby side as he weighs up his options before his contract expires.
Australian Jones has a contract with the 'Brave Blossoms' until the end of 2015 but he was thought keen to remain in Japan, which will host the 2019 rugby World Cup, to coach the national side as well as the new Super Rugby expansion team.
However, reports from Cape Town on Monday said the 55-year-old had already put pen to paper on a two-year contract worth R5m per year with the Stormers.
The reports also suggested Jones could retain his role with Japan despite being based out of South Africa.
Jones told Japan's Kyodo News on Tuesday he was simply exploring his options.
"I am chatting with (the Stormers) but that's the extent of it," he said. "I am off contract in 2015 and I'm looking at my options.
"Players and coaches sign contracts and do everything they can until the contract comes to an end. But you need to look elsewhere when your contract is coming to an end. That's professional rugby."
Jones, who has never held a top coaching position in South Africa, said he was always drawn to the appeal of doing something different.
"That's why I came to Japan after coaching in England," he said.
"No Australian has done anything in Japan. I like new challenges and that's why I am chatting with them."
The Stormers lost to Australia's Brumbies in the playoffs of this year's Super Rugby tournament.
Their coach, Allister Coetzee, has since moved to Japan to take over Top League side Kobe Kobelco Steelers.