There have been numerous talking points around Coach Eddie Jones and England’s treacherous Six Nations 2021 campaign. Recording only two victories out of five saw England end up in fifth place; their worst performance in the tournament since 1987. With such an unpredicted performance, it was hard to believe the Six Nations champions would slump to such an all-time low.
Rumours began to speculate, was this the end of Coach Eddie Jones’ reign as head coach? However, England’s RFU (Rugby Football Union) has opted to back the Australian-born coach, and Jones is set to continue until the end of the 2023 season. Coach Eddie Jones is said to have a few tricks up his sleeve as he prepares to rebuild the England rugby brand.
“I’m looking forward to the summer tour which will provide a great opportunity to see more of our emerging talent. I’m confident our next team will come back stronger this autumn building up to a winning performance in the next Six Nations.” – Bill Sweeney, RFU Chief Executive
Eddie Jones National Coach Resume:
Undoubtedly one of the most experienced head coaches in World Rugby, Eddie Jones comes with vast experience dating back to 2001, when he took control of the Wallabies in Australia. Known for building a powerful squad and a large depth of players, two years after being appointed, Coach Jones took Australia to the Rugby World Cup Final in 2003.
Unfortunately, the slightest margin on the day went against Coach Eddie Jones’ Australian team, which crowed England World Champions on the day. Two years following his praises as Australia’s head coach, successive defeats would see Eddie Jones’ contract terminated.
Eddie Jones then went onto domestic teams in Australia and the UK respectively, however, a brand new opportunity presented itself, where Coach Jones was appointed technical advisor for South Africa ahead of their 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign.
His only World Cup gold medal to date came through the Springbok 2007 Rugby World Cup triumph and a new chapter laid ahead for the Australian rugby coach.
Eight years on, a new challenge faced Eddie Jones with then rugby minnows, Japan, after taking charge, following the resignation of Coach John Kirwan. With many pundits believing smaller rugby nations were unequipped to challenge title contenders, Coach Jones silenced the critics at the Rugby World Cup 2015 tournament, as Japan beat South Africa 34-32, in what was one of the biggest upsets in World Rugby to date.
The gritty Japanese performance saw them win three out of their four group games, however, due to point difference, they failed to qualify for the knockout stages. What could have ended in disappointing circumstances, prevailed into triumph as Jones was offered the England head coach position for the 2016 season.
Following a disappointing Rugby World Cup 2015 performance, RFU sacked Coach Stuart Lancaster. It did not take long for Coach Eddie Jones to impress, as he led England to a Grandslam victory, as well as an unbeaten rugby season in 2016. Coach Jones would continue to succeed as he won the Six Nations again, in 2017.
With fine form, England headed into the Rugby World Cup 2019 Final as firm favourites, after an unbeaten campaign and knocking-out tournament favourites New Zealand in the semi-finals.
Unfortunately, it would be the second Rugby World Cup final where Coach Eddie Jones would fall short again, as England were beaten by South Africa 32-12 in the final. Coach Jones continued to coach England and succeeded at yet another Six Nations tournament in 2020. However, a dismal Six Nations 2021 campaign saw many England rugby followers lose faith in their head coach.
Future Of England Rugby:
With the current global pandemic, teams travelling to compete at an international level makes test match rugby cross-continent extremely challenging to organise.
With the Lions Tour 2021 going to take place in South Africa in July 2021, plenty of world-class rugby players from England will have the opportunity to write history in the Lions jersey. As for the England rugby side, nothing is set in stone for the autumn internationals at present.
Did England make the right decision in keeping Eddie Jones as head coach? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.