Eddie Jones: Former England boss felt he was ‘too nice’ to players and revealed his one regret

Eddie Jones - Barbarians rights free image.jpg Credit: Alamy
Eddie Jones - Barbarians rights free image.jpg Credit: Alamy

Former England head coach Eddie Jones feels he may have been too nice to his players in recent times.

The Rugby Football Union sacked Jones after a poor Test season in 2022, where the Red Rose only won five of 12 games, including a loss to Argentina in the Autumn Nations Series.

Too soft?

Several have claimed that Jones created a harsh environment for the players, suggesting that he was too hard on the squad.

However, Jones believes he softened up compared to the earlier stages of his coaching career.

“I was certainly too hard on the players 20 years ago, when I started with the Wallabies,” he told Midi Olympique. “But I have evolved a lot in my management over the years. I even think that I have been too nice to the players in recent years.”

Jones believed things changed after the 25-25 draw against the All Blacks in November and that the media catalysed his departure.

“I had a meeting with the senior directors of the RFU,” Jones said. “I felt, that day, that the atmosphere was bizarre. They were not like they usually are with me. After that, the British media became more and more critical. I understood then that the end was nigh.”

RFU chief Bill Sweeney revealed that there were concerns that England would not improve before the World Cup next year and that Jones’ obsession with the showpiece was hindering the development of the side.

“We weren’t convinced it was going to get better,” he said. “I don’t think you can have an obsession with a World Cup once every four years and write everything else off for that goal. We want to win every Six Nations, and we should want to win every Six Nations game.

“Most conversations with Eddie tend to revolve around World Cups, whether that is because of his previous experiences there, or because he’s never won one [as head coach].

“There was absolutely no breakdown in relationship with Eddie,” added Sweeney, who said he would be “amazed” if Jones were not with a team at next year’s World Cup.

The one regret

Speaking on his tenure at the helm of England, Jones revealed how impactful the Saracens relegation was and how that led to regretful decisions.

“We always make mistakes. If today I could go back in time, maybe I would change some of my selection criteria,” he said

“2021 was a very bad year for us. Saracens had just been demoted to the second division. As you probably know, the XV of England was then mainly formed by players from the Sarries.

“The problem is that their level has dropped considerably, in the second division and that the performances of our national team immediately suffered from it.

“So I should have changed my tune, that year. And I regret it, this is the mistake I made.”

READ MORE: England: Steve Borthwick named new head coach as Kevin Sinfield joins him at Twickenham

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