No regrets from RFU over Eddie Jones sacking despite potential Rugby World Cup reunion with ex-England boss

No regrets from RFU over Eddie Jones sacking despite potential Rugby World Cup reunion with ex-England boss

English rugby chiefs have no regrets on sacking Eddie Jones, even though the veteran coach has made a quickfire Test return as Australia boss.

Jones was sacked by the RFU on December 7 but was left free to take up any role straight away, and has now been appointed for a second stint as Australia head coach.

England could not block Jones from taking up any new jobs in the wake of his sacking, with the RFU unable to impose a non-compete clause in the terms of his Twickenham departure.

England could face Jones' Australia in the World Cup quarter-finals in France this autumn, where the fired-up Wallabies boss would have revenge firmly in his sights.

Senior figures at the RFU remain convinced they took the right course of action in unseating Jones however, despite that potential World Cup clash with his new employers.

England laboured to their worst set of calendar-year results since 2008 in a muddled 2022, where Jones' attempts to build an ambitious, fluent attack failed to take hold across just five wins from 12 Tests.

Steve Borthwick has been installed as Jones' replacement, with English chiefs already said to be delighted with the atmosphere of a fresh start under the new head coach.

The former Leicester boss named a progressive-looking Six Nations squad on Monday, with RFU bosses excited by his determination to reward Gallagher Premiership form and to select players for, and capitalise on, their main strengths.

Borthwick and assistant Kevin Sinfield have set out a blueprint of clarity, simplicity and honesty that has already found favour with RFU chiefs.

Jones is thought to have held several meetings with senior staff at Australia's union in the last 18 months, though the 62-year-old was always fully committed to England while under RFU employment.

Jones led England for seven years, steering the Test team to the 2019 World Cup final.

The veteran coach was desperate to go one better and win the World Cup at the 2023 tournament with England - but now he will attack the competition with Australia instead.

The Wallabies had earmarked Jones to take over when his England contract expired after this year's World Cup, but jumped at the chance to bring him in early after he lost the England job last month. He coached Australia to the 2003 World Cup final and defeat by England in first stint, that ran from 2001 to 2005.

Australia sacked head coach Dave Rennie in order to set Jones to work straight away.