Eddie Jones’ England future beyond 2021 remains uncertain

By Duncan Bech, PA

Eddie Jones’ future as England head coach beyond 2021 remains uncertain after Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney placed the prospect of an extended contract in doubt.

Sweeney stated after England had finished World Cup runners-up that it would make “sense” to retain Jones until France 2021, adding that talks would be held “as a matter of urgency” upon their return from Japan.

A two-day tournament debrief was “overwhelmingly positive” in tone, but Sweeney is now in less haste to extend Jones’ current deal, which has two years left to run.

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England manager Eddie Jones after the 2019 Rugby World Cup final (David Davies/PA)
England manager Eddie Jones after the 2019 Rugby World Cup final (David Davies/PA)

“Eddie and I have sat down and talked on a number of occasions,” Sweeney said.

“We continue to discuss it but at the moment he’s fully committed to seeing out the contract until 2021 and we’ll take it from there. We’re chatting about it.

“We’ll do whatever we think….Reading the media over the last six weeks, the camps are pretty split.

“Some are saying don’t rush into anything, just stay with 2021. Other people are saying you should really do a four-year until France 2023.

“We’ll do whatever we think is right for England rugby and it’s got to work for both sides.

Bill Sweeney is continuing discussions with England head coach Jones (Steven Paston/PA)
Bill Sweeney is continuing discussions with England head coach Jones (Steven Paston/PA)

“Eddie is committed to seeing out his contract so there’s no looming deadline when we’ll feel we need to make a pressing decision.”

The post-World Cup debrief took place on November 14 and 15, was chaired by former Minister for Sport Sir Hugh Robertson and included feedback from 27 of the 32 players used in Japan.

“We had one member of the previous review committee following 2015. We had a recently retired England player, a well respected coach, a board member and myself,” Sweeney said.

“It included Eddie, all the coaching staff, all the operations staff. We had a working dinner. As you’d expect having reached the final, it was overwhelmingly positive.

“There was nothing that came out of it that was a fundamental miss or anything that needs to be changed.”

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