Dylan Hartley likely to be kept on as England captain after Six Nations success
Eddie Jones is poised to retain "likeable rogue" Dylan Hartley as captain for the summer tour to Australia as England turn their gaze to the next staging post on their quest to become the dominant force in the game
Jones may have presided over a first Grand Slam since 2003 in his debut campaign as head coach after Saturday night's 31-21 victory over France, but he has already set his sights set on greater prizes.
The first objective is to topple World Cup runners-up Australia over three Tests in June en route to his ultimate goal of dethroning New Zealand at the summit of the game when the next global showpiece is staged in 2019.
Hartley is set to be at the helm against the Wallabies after proving to be an inspired choice as captain, in the process diffusing the controversy generated by his dire disciplinary record.
The hooker's immediate future is shrouded in uncertainty after he was knocked out at the Stade de France, but Jones' endorsement of his leadership credentials is sure to comfort him as he follows the return to the play protocols for concussion.
"I'll sit down with Dylan over the next two to three weeks and plan out the Australian tour," said Jones, who hopes to appoint a full-time scrum coach and assistant attack coach before they head Down Under.
"The great thing about Dylan is that he's a bit of a rogue, a likeable rogue. He's got good people skills, he's not afraid to tell people what they should be doing when they are not doing it and he's not afraid to give someone a pat on the pack.
"He's done an outstanding job as captain. He can still get better as captain - and he will - but he has done a really good job.
"At this stage there's no reason why Dylan won't be captain as long as he keeps improving as a player. If he keeps improving as a player, he'll remain as captain for the tour."
Hartley's night in Paris was cut short with 12 minutes remaining after taking an accidental knee to the head and he received lengthy medical attention before being carried off on a stretcher.
The 29-year-old, who lost two months to concussion earlier in the season, was able to return to the pitch for the trophy presentation but Jones revealed on Sunday that he remains groggy.
"He's recovering. He took a nasty blow and he's getting well looked after by the medical staff. He'll undergo all of the normal head injury protocols and he's still a bit under the weather," Jones said.
It has taken Jones 120 days to transform virtually the same squad that finished Six Nations runners-up four years in a row and that slumped to a group exit at the World Cup into the Grand Slam winners.
But the Australian is not satisfied with success in Europe and is ready to guard against complacency by demonstrating his ruthless streak in selection if needed.
When asked where the Championship clean sweep ranked as an achievement in his career, Jones replied: "Nowhere because it's going to get better with England.
"It's fantastic to get a Grand Slam and fantastic to win the Six Nations, but we want to be the number one team in the world. To do that we have to go down to Australia and beat them.
"I'll make sure the players don't get ahead of themselves. It's easy to do that. I've got the greatest cane in the world because I pick the side.
"If anyone gets too far ahead of themselves, they won't be in the team. That's how you keep growing."
Jones insists the true catalyst for success will be the emergence of a hungry aspiring England star who wants to make his mark.
"We need a few young guys to come through to really push the envelope," Jones said.
"We need some guys to come in and say that this isn't good enough and lift the level again so I'm looking for those guys, like a young Jonny Wilkinson.
"The 2003 lot talk about when Jonny came into training as a young kid and turned the Bunsen burner up.
"The whole level of training increased because he had no fear and he wanted to be number one in the world. I need to find a couple of those kids. We'll find them."