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Another mind game or Aussie sincerity? Eddie Jones 'proud' of 'old mate' Michael Cheika ahead of RWC quarter-final

England coach Eddie Jones has offered an unexpected olive branch to Wallabies counterpart Michael Cheika, believing the death of a man who mentored them both would forge a bond this weekend.

Jones turned the narrative on its head on Thursday, describing Cheika as a "good old mate" two days out from their Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Oita.

Since taking charge of England in 2016, Jones hasn't held back engaging in sometimes-cutting verbal jousts with his former Randwick clubmate.

Cheika hasn't been as forthcoming in response, possibly because his team are on a six-Test losing streak against the English under Jones.

Given a chance to have another jab at a packed press conference, former Wallabies coach Jones instead offered praise to a man whose five-year tenure will finish if Australia are beaten.

"They are a great tournament side. I think 'Cheik' has done a really good job," he said.

"I'm proud of the job he does. He's a good old mate of mine."

Jones referenced the pair's long association with Randwick club icon Jeff Sayle, who died last month aged 77.

Sayle was an influential figure in the career of both coaches and they paid emotional public tributes soon after learning of his death.

"There will be a bloke in the sky who will be quite excited about Michael and I coaching against each other this week," Jones said on Thursday.

"I'm sure he's having a few beers next to St Peter now looking at the situation."

Hours later, Cheika returned the compliments, although in a guarded fashion.

He said he'd prefer it if the likes of Jones and top Australian coaches from other sports didn't have to leave home.

"He's been there for a bit now hasn't he? He's done a good job for sure," Cheika said.

"It always hurts me when there's an Aussie over there. Trevor Bayliss and Eddie and, I don't know, Wayne Bennett. You want them at home but it is what it is. What do you do?"

Jones also took the chance to play down the invitation to Canberra Raiders NRL coach Ricky Stuart who has joined the England camp as part of their preparations this week.

Cheika said he found it "weird" that Stuart should be involved, sparking a possible flashpoint.

Jones said the timing of the invitation to "old mate" Stuart in the week they're playing Australia was a coincidence.

"It's just an exchange of ideas," Jones said.

"If you look at the history of what we've done over these four years we've invited coaches in all the time because we want to share their knowledge, we want to make sure we keep learning."

However, a mischievous Jones then revealed he had been up until 9pm on Tuesday night "picking Ricky's brain".