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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Alex Spink

Eddie Jones' future under review after being told England results are not good enough

Eddie Jones has been told publicly by his boss that results are not good enough at the end of England’s worst year since 2008.

Defeat by South Africa capped a demoralising autumn and meant Jones failing to win for a seventh time since February.

England were booed off at Twickenham and the verdict of Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney tallied with that of fed-up fans.

“Like them we are really disappointed with the results of the Autumn Nations Series,” said Sweeney.

“Despite strong individual performances and some great new talent coming into the team, the overall results are not where we expect them to be.”

In a week in which he was accused by MPs of being “asleep on the job”, Sweeney made a point of assuring supporters that their feelings matter.

Equally significantly, there were no words of backing for Jones.

Contrast that with their reaction to England’s Six Nations flop which trumpeted the union’s continued “full support” for the Australian and the “solid progress” of his team.

Jones and RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney (Getty Images)

There was no sign of progress on Saturday, England were miles off. Sir Clive Woodward branded it the “worst week in English rugby history... the game in this country is a total shambles”.

This is not an isolated view and 284 days out from the World Cup there is a clear sense, perhaps for the first time, that patience is close to running out.

England have lost six times in 2022, seven if you include the eight-try humbling in June by a 14-man Barbarians invitation side.

Tom Curry and Maro Itoje trudge off Twickenham after Saturday's demoralising loss (David Rogers/Getty Images)

An RFU review panel will meet this week to discuss “how improvements can be made” ahead of the Six Nations, which starts at home to Scotland on February 4.

There remains scepticism that any meaningful change will come of this as those on the panel serve under condition of anonymity.

“I don’t really care what other people think,” Jones said on Saturday night.

Kurt-Lee Arendse celebrates his spectacular try with fellow Springbok try scorer Eben Etzebeth (Getty Images)

It was in response to a suggestion England are now outsiders for the World Cup, but that is the take, more generally, of a coach from the ‘my way or the highway’ school.

“The reviews are always uncomfortable when you’re not winning," Jones added. “I’m sure the fans have doubts and feel that I don’t know how to coach, but it’s a progression to the World Cup. I’ve got a plan for how England can win it, but it doesn’t go in a perfect line."

He would prefer that both the public and his employers keep the faith but, after what the Boks did to England in the scrum and the air, faith has left town.

Jones with England fly-half Marcus Smith (The RFU Collection via Getty Ima)

Listen to World Cup winner and proud Englishman Will Greenwood, who won 55 caps and whose father Dick captained and coached the country.

“That was one of the most soul-destroying, demoralising, games of rugby I think I’ve ever been to at Twickenham,” he said. “The side look completely devoid and shot of ideas. Scared of it’s own shadow, beaten up, out-played, out-muscled, out-thought."

Only results will change the mood music and, whoever is in charge come the Six Nations, Jamie George says delivering silverware for the first time in three years is a must.

“You never know when your next game is going to be," he said. "International rugby is ruthless like that. A couple of bad performances can be the end of it.

Manu Tuilagi, like the rest of his England team mates, had little impact against the Boks (Getty Images)

“We want the English rugby community to be excited about what we’re putting on the field. We haven’t done that over this autumn and we need to make sure we fix it.

"We do that through results. And the time is now."

ENGLAND - Try: Slade. Con: Farrell. Pens: Farrell 2.

SOUTH AFRICA - Try: Arendse, Etzebeth. Con: De Klerk. Pens: De Klerk 3. Drop: Willemse 2.


2020 - Six Nations champions, Autumn Nations Cup winners

2021 - Worst ever Six Nations, finishing fifth with most points conceded in a campaign and a first Triple Crown of defeats since 1976. Unbeaten autumn, beating Tonga, Australia and South Africa.

2022 - Lose more games than they win for second straight Six Nations but Jones calls for patience. Come from behind to win summer series in Australia. Win only one of four autumn Tests. Worst year of results since 2008.

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