Eddie Jones under pressure to keep job after Springboks defeat
England coach Eddie Jones is under extreme pressure to keep his job after his boss declared he was “really disappointed” with the results in the Autumn Nations Series.
Jones apologised to fans after his team was bullied by the Springboks in a repeat of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
South Africa defeated England at their Twickenham fortress for the first time in eight years in a 27-13 statement by the world champions on Sunday.
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Eddie Jones at Twickenham. (Getty)
England finished the year with five wins, six losses and a draw – its worst statistical record in 14 years.
The flat Springboks defeat followed a draw with New Zealand, defeat to Argentina and a victory over Japan.
“We would like to thank England fans for their patience and support, it matters to us how they feel,” Bill Sweeney, the CEO of the Rugby Football Union, said in a statement.
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Maro Itoje of England and Eben Etzebeth of South Africa clash. (Getty)
“Like them we are really disappointed with the results. Despite strong individual performances and some great new talent coming into the team, the overall results are not where we expect them to be.”
The RFU said its review panel, which includes board and executive members along with independent former players and coaches, would now hold a series of meetings in the next two weeks to discuss the Autumn Nations campaign and how improvements could be made ahead of the Six Nations.
Australian coach Jones is contracted through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup and has been linked with a move to the United States to lead their national team after that.
Eddie Jones at Twickenham. (Getty)
World Cup winning halfback Matt Dawson turned up the heat in a column for the Sports Opinion.
“The Armageddon decision is to let Eddie Jones go and allow someone to get in as head coach and make changes now, with the Six Nations ahead of them,” Dawson wrote.
“Or, if those in charge don’t change Jones, they tell Jones he has to change.
Faf de Klerk of South Africa claps his hands. (Getty)
“And change something substantial and fast. There have to be some tough conversations to talk about why they are playing the way they are.”
But another 2003 World Cup winner, Lawrence Dallaglio, said the players needed to take the brunt of the criticism.
“There are two big problems with this England team: I don’t get the impression that they are taking real responsibility and accountability for recent poor performances; nor do they seem to understand that starting well against tier one opposition is imperative,” Dallaglio wrote in his column for The Times.
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“The two are, of course, almost certainly related. I’m not implying that any of this England group are lacking heart but are they feeling the pain of defeat so acutely? If they were then they would be publicly apologising for yesterday – something which would send a strong message not just to the nation but to each other.”
England were booed off Twickenham after losing to the Springboks and Jones said the poor performance was “entirely my fault.”
“I think about where we are going towards a World Cup,” Jones said.
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“Obviously we want to win games and be successful but are we moving in the right direction? Yes we are. I have coached for a number of years and I believe I can coach well. People will say what they say, and there are ups and downs in sport but we didn’t play well today and I apologise for that, it’s entirely my fault.”
World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward came off the long run in his Mail on Sunday column.
“This was the worst week in English rugby history,” Woodward wrote.
“The game in this country is a total shambles and defeat to a South Africa side without nine of its best players showed it. When are the leading figures at the RFU going to wake up and realise English rugby is in trouble? Everything is not OK.
“Eddie Jones will be allowed to carry on as he likes yet again.”
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