England: Eddie Jones sacked less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup

former england rugby head coach eddie jones Credit: Alamy
former england rugby head coach eddie jones Credit: Alamy

Eddie Jones has been relieved of his duties as England Rugby head coach less than a year out from the Rugby World Cup in France.

The Australian’s seven-year tenure in charge of the England men’s team comes to a close after a dismal 2022, as he presided over their worst year since 2008.

Cockerill takes over in the interim

The RFU have confirmed that Richard Cockerill will take over the day-to-day running of the team in the interim.

“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 RFU CEO, Bill 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.”

Jones’ parting words

“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,” said Eddie Jones.

“Many of the players and I will no doubt keep in touch and I wish them all well in their future careers.”

England’s poor results in 2022

A disappointing 2022 consisted of six defeats, a draw and five wins, ending with a comprehensive loss to South Africa on November 26.

England managed just two wins from five in the Six Nations, which included a Calcutta Cup loss to Scotland and a third-place overall finish.

A 2-1 series victory over the Wallabies in Australia followed in July, but his side’s form in the Autumn Nations Series sealed his fate. England suffered their first defeat at the hands of Argentina since 2009 and their first home loss to Los Pumas in 16 years.

Steve Borthwick the front-runner to replace Jones

Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick is the front-runner to take over the reins permanently from Jones ahead of next year’s Six Nations and Rugby World Cup.

Borthwick was part of Jones’ coaching staff that reached the Rugby World Cup final in Japan before taking the head coach role at theTigers.

In his first full season in charge of the side, he led them to their first Premiership title since 2013.

Jones’ highs

During his time in charge, Jones steered England to three Six Nations titles, including a Grand Slam in 2016, two series wins in Australia, an unbeaten run of 18 matches, an Autumn Nations Cup, and a Rugby World Cup final in Japan.

Jones wraps up his tenure with the highest win rate (73%) of any England men’s head coach.

He was also the first England coach to complete a perfect year since Geoff Cooke in 1992, winning all 13 of his Tests in 2016.

READ MORE: State of the Nation: England anything but on track for Rugby World Cup

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