SYDNEY - Dumped, disappointed but defiant -- Eddie Jones today said he hoped to one day return as Wallabies coach.

After four and a half years as national coach, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) yesterday announced it had terminated Jones' contract effective immediately.

While clearly disappointed, Jones did his best to hold back his emotion and put on a brave front at a press conference where he reluctantly accepted the ARU's decision.

"The ARU have got every right to make the decision but I still believe I'm the right person to coach Australia and therefore my disappointment is very intense," Jones said.

"I think the team, albeit results have not been as they should have been and I certainly take full responsibility for those, ... we've set the base for the World Cup in 2007."

Jones said he would take a few days off, before "embarking on the next stage of his coaching career", but would not say if he had received offers from any other provincial or national team.

He also would not declare his preference for his successor, only to say he hoped he would one day be offered the role again, citing former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer as proof it can be done.

"I'm still young even though I've lost my hair, (I'm) 45, there is no reason why I won't be coaching the Wallabies again," Jones said.

"And that is my intention, I want to become a better coach and coach the Wallabies again, it's the greatest honour and privilege you can have."

While contracted through until the 2007 World Cup, Jones was set to make a presentation to the ARU board next week in a bid to save his position.

The presentation was to form part of an ARU review in the wake of a disappointing Tri-Series season followed by their Spring Tour of Europe where the Wallabies won only one of their four matches.

Jones had set a goal of winning all four games on the tour.

"I'm very disappointed that I didn't get an opportunity to present," Jones said.

"I've coached Australia for 57 tests, the longest sequence for any coach that's coached Australia and to not have the opportunity to present a report is disappointing."

But Jones, who was informed on Thursday of the ARU decision, said he had an "inkling" he would be dumped.

Waratahs' coach Ewen McKenzie is now favourite to succeed Jones after former All Blacks coach John Mitchell, now coaching Perth Glory, said he would like do assume only an advisory role.

David Nucifora, the former Brumbies coach, is another possible candidate for the job but he has a contract with the Auckland Rugby Union. He left Australia on a bitter note after his contract with the Brumbies wasn't extended depite the team's success in the Super 12.

The ARU said its seach for the next coach would not be confined to Australia or an Australian.

- AAP