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Wales Online
Wales Online
Ben James

Eddie Jones sacked by England and leaves Twickenham in taxi as interim coach named

Eddie Jones has been sacked as England head coach after a well-publicised review process.

The Australian leaves the posts after seven years in charge and the highest win percentage of any England coach. However, a tough 2022 has seen the Rugby Football Union decide to part ways with Jones.

Jones faced a meeting with the RFU hierarchy on Monday where it was likely that the 62-year-old discovered his fate, with reports in the Telegraph adding that he had a further meeting with Bill Sweeney, the RFU CEO, on Tuesday morning before leaving Twickenham in a taxi.

Speaking about his departure, Jones said: "I am pleased with much that we have achieved as an England team and I look forward to watching the team’s performance in the future. Many of the players and I will no doubt keep in touch and I wish them all well in their future careers."

Unlike Wales' announcement on Monday, there's no new coach in place just yet. The RFU have announced that Jones' assistant Richard Cockerill will take over on the day-to-day running of the national team for the time being.

Warren Gatland had been tipped to be a front-runner for the post, but he has already sealed his return to Wales following Wayne Pivac's departure. Steve Borthwick is now expected to take over, but the Telegraph reports that the Leicester Tigers coach, who has served as an assistant under Jones previously, has yet to be approached by the RFU.

An RFU statement said that it will now "conclude the long-term work it has been undertaking on coach succession planning with changes set to be announced in the near future".

"It is important to recognise the huge contribution Eddie has made to English rugby, winning three Six Nations Championships, one Grand Slam and taking us to a Rugby World Cup Final," said Sweeney.

"He has the highest win ratio of any previous England head coach and has helped develop the leadership skills of many players and coaches. I am grateful to Eddie for all he has done for England across many areas of the game and the professional way in which he has approached reviewing the performance of the team. He has provided the panel with astute insight and meaningful lessons that will support the team performance going forward."

There had been speculation since their defeat to the Springboks over a week ago that Jones' time as England coach was over. The former Australia and Japan head coach took over the role after England crashed out of their home World Cup in 2015 under Stuart Lancaster.

He brought immediate success, winning back-to-back Six Nations titles and winning a Test series in Australia. He also guided England to the final of the 2019 World Cup, where they were defeated by South Africa.

However, since that World Cup, the high turnover of assistant coaches, reports of his treatment of players in camp and a decline in results and performances have ramped up the pressure on Jones, with England enduring their worst year since 2008 after winning five out of 12 Test matches. Jones has been vocal about focusing solely on the World Cup, but it would appear that the RFU have run out of patience.

The process of relieving Jones of his duties is expected to cost the RFU between £650,000 and £700,000.

His win percentage of 73 per cent was better than that of frequent critic Sir Clive Woodward, as well as other recent coaches Andy Robinson, Brian Ashton, Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster.


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