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RFU ‘fully supports’ Eddie Jones despite England’s underwhelming Six Nations

England lost three games as they finished third.

Eddie Jones pictured before the game in Paris.
Eddie Jones pictured before the game in Paris.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Updated Mar 20th 2022, 4:04 PM

EDDIE JONES HAS been given the full backing of the Rugby Football Union despite another disappointing Guinness Six Nations campaign in which England finish third.

The RFU has moved quickly to end any doubt over Jones’ future in the wake of Saturday night’s 25-13 defeat by France, who were crowned Grand Slam champions in Paris.

It is the third time in five years that England have ended the competition with three losses and comes just 12 months after the Australian head coach survived an inquest into finishing fifth.

However, the RFU is confident he remains the right man for the job.

“Eddie Jones is building a new England team and against a clear strategy we are encouraged by the solid progress the team has made during this Six Nations,” an RFU spokesperson said.

“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.”

Jones will once again meet with Twickenham’s anonymous ‘advisory panel’ to analyse another failed campaign, but he will enter the process knowing his future is assured with the World Cup just 18 months away.

“Eddie and his team of coaches and players will conduct a full review as is normal after each tournament,” the spokesperson said.

“The RFU advisory panel – which consists of board and executive members, former players and coaches, along with Eddie – will also undertake a debrief to discuss the strong positive steps forward during this campaign and the areas we need to address.

“The advisory group has been in place since 2019 and it meets regularly both during and after each tournament to evaluate clear targets and progression.”

Just hours before receiving the unconditional support of RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney, Jones urged England fans to keep believing in his ability to lead the team to a successful World Cup next year.

Jones has called for patience as he continues his pivot towards younger players such as Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward and Harry Randall, promising the project will deliver at France 2023.

“They’ve got to have some faith. I think I’ve done a reasonable job for England for the past seven years,” Jones said.

“Am I pleased with the job I’m doing? I’m not pleased with the results. Do I think I’m coaching well? 100 per cent. I think I’m coaching well and sometimes you don’t get the results.

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“I’ve coached for long enough to know this is all about rebuilding a team. Rebuilding a team at international level is a complex and intriguing project, particularly when you’re coaching a team like England where the expectation is so high.

“You don’t get any latitude when you’re bringing young players through who tend to be more inconsistent as they learn their craft at international level.

“Look at the French team, it took them three years to win the Championship. We’ve rebuilt the side from the last Six Nations. I think the progress is very positive and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospects for this team.

“The results aren’t the results we’d like – we’d all like to be winning tournaments and be at the top of the table, but we’re not quite good enough to do that now. But within the next 12 to 14 months, when we prepare for the World Cup, we will be.

“We’ve got 12 Tests before the World Cup and, if you look at that, it means guys like Freddie and Marcus and Harry are going to increase their Test experience by 100 per cent in that period.

“There is a great learning experience for them. I think the timing for our team going into the World Cup is very good.”

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