Eddie Jones faces tough talks with Rugby Football Union CEO Bill Sweeney as part of a review of England’s poor campaign in the Six Nations and the head coach’s contract is understood to contain a break clause .
Jones is the highest paid rugby coach in the world and agreed to an extension until the 2023 World Cup last April. However, it is believed that it would not necessarily be prohibitively expensive for the RFU to part ways with Jones due to a clause in their contract, similar to the one that existed in their previous agreement. In that case, the clause was performance related, depending on how England fared at the 2019 World Cup.
Sweeney will play an active role, alongside Jones, in reviewing England’s performance in the Six Nations, which culminated in fifth place following Saturday’s sad defeat to Ireland, a penalty shootout record and a negative point difference. for the first time since 1987, in the days of the Five Nations. In addition, England suffered defeats to Ireland, Wales and Scotland for the first time in 46 years. A spokesperson for RFU said: “Our leadership and training team will review our performance in the Six Nations and we know that the England team will continue to grow and learn from this.”
On Sunday, Jones was due to begin a “frenzied and intense” briefing with his senior players and staff. Meanwhile, World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward stopped short of calling for Jones to be fired following England’s 32-18 defeat in Dublin, but said the head coach needs to “look in the mirror” .
Three years ago England also finished fifth and while they rallied to reach the World Cup final 18 months later, the drop in Six Nations prize money was seen as part of the reason the RFU posted a loss that year. Claiming the 2020 title earned the RFU around £ 5 million, but finishing second leaves the union with a damaging deficit given the anticipated loss of up to £ 35 million this year.
When asked if finishing fifth was unacceptable, Jones said: “You know I don’t [acceptable]. You know it is not. We are disappointed, very disappointed ”. When asked if he was still the right man to lead England on, Jones added: “That is not the question at the moment. The question at this point is that we need to play better. That’s for other people to respond, not for me to respond. “However, he expressed confidence that he could turn things around like he did in 2018.” There’s no reason we shouldn’t, “he said. Teams overcome these time periods and you come out much stronger than you were before. “
Jones’ veteran players gave Jones their full support to continue, with Maro Itoje and Mako Vunipola insisting that the team bear the blame for England’s performances. “Eddie is a fantastic coach. He is one of the best coaches I have ever worked with, his pace of work, his knowledge, his feelings with the players, the way he takes care of their affairs, they are really second to none, ”said Itoje. “As players, we must be responsible for our behavior. He is a truly special coach ”.
Vunipola, who endured a terrible afternoon in Dublin and was replaced at half-time, added: “As a group of senior players, we have to take full responsibility. Coaches and Eddie always put us in a position where we can win games. So it’s up to us to execute that and we haven’t done it well enough or consistently enough. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism