Eddie gets a big message from his bosses
REACTION: Eddie Jones was given the support of his bosses after saying he could revive England’s fortunes ahead of next year’s World Cup following a disappointing Six Nations that ended in defeat by Grand Slam champions France.
The 25-13 reverse at a raucous Stade de France on Saturday meant that, for the second year in a row, England – one of rugby’s best-resourced nations – had lost three out of five matches in a Championship campaign.
The long list of injuries Jones had to contend with this season only partially explained a poor campaign.
Jones is contracted to take England to the 2023 World Cup in France after which the 63-year-old Australian coach has previously said he intends to step down.
“Am I pleased with the job I’m doing?,” Jones said Sunday. “I’m not pleased with the results.
“Do I think I’m coaching well? One hundred percent. I think I’m coaching well and sometimes you don’t get the results.”
“Next time we come here, we’ll be playing for the World Cup trophy” 🏆
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 19, 2022
Asked if there was time for an England revival prior to France 2023, replied: “One hundred percent.”
Pressed on his own position, Jones simply looked ahead to England’s tour of his native Australia in July.
“My concern is to coach the team really well and the only thing I’m worried about is preparing for Australia,” he said.
But a spokesperson for Jones’ paymasters at England’s governing Rugby Football Union said later Sunday they continued to “fully support” the veteran coach.
Jones and his backroom staff would now conduct a “full review as is normal after each tournament”.
“The RFU continues to fully support Eddie, the coaching team and players and we are excited about the summer tour and the progress to rebuild a winning England team,” the spokesperson added.
Bonne nuit tout le monde 🥰 pic.twitter.com/mG0wDO79cM
— Antoine Dupont (@Dupont9A) March 20, 2022
Jones, the coach of an Australia team beaten by England in the 2003 World Cup final in his home town of Sydney, took England to the climax of Japan 2019 – where they were overwhelmed 32-12 by South Africa.
The bulk of that side then helped England win the 2020 Six Nations – the third title of a Jones era that started with a 2016 Grand Slam.
But the coach is adamant a new-look squad is now required.
“I’ve coached for long enough to know this is all about rebuilding a team,” he said.
“Look at the French team, it took them three years to win the Six Nations Championship [after the 2019 World Cup].
“We’ve rebuilt the side from the last Six Nations,” added Jones following a Championship where England finished third compared to last year’s lowly fifth.
“I think the progress is very positive and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospects for this team.”
England, however, were outscored three tries to one by France and they managed just eight tries in total compared to Les Bleus’ 17 during this Six Nations.
“We definitely need to improve our support play and we need to improve our finishing,” said Jones.
“We got in France’s 22 [metre area] seven times. They got in our 22 five times, but they executed at 80 percent. We executed at about 45 percent – and that’s the difference in the scoreline.”
But Jones added the likes of novice half-backs Harry Randall and Marcus Smith would be much improved come the World Cup.
“We’ve got 12 Tests before the World Cup and if you look at that, it means guys like Marcus and Harry are going to increase their Test experience by 100 percent in that period.
“I think the timing for our team going into the World Cup is very good.”
— Guinness Six Nations (@SixNationsRugby) March 20, 2022