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What does Eddie Jones have to deal with now he's taken over as England coach?

Published 01/12/2015

Eddie Jones has started work as England's head coach
Eddie Jones has started work as England's head coach

New England head coach Eddie Jones officially starts work today.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the questions facing him.

WHAT IS THE PRIORITY?

The most pressing issue facing Jones is the make-up of his coaching team. Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt - lieutenants under Stuart Lancaster who remain at Twickenham - are expected to depart with Jones favouring his own men. An approach is reported to have already been made to Steve Borthwick, who worked under the Australian with Japan and is presently employed by Bristol, and the Rugby Football Union is sure to have insisted on further English appointments.

COULD ANY OF LANCASTER'S ASSISTANTS SURVIVE?

Highly unlikely. Of the trio who were kept on in case they were needed to oversee the Six Nations on an interim basis, Farrell has the best chance of being retained and was name checked by Jones during his recent press conference, but the 55-year-old is sure to want his own team in place.

WILL THE CHANGES EXTEND TO THE CAPTAINCY?

It is hard to see Chris Robshaw remaining at the helm, not least because his position as openside is under scrutiny after Jones stated during the World Cup that he just "doesn't have that point of difference" at international level. The Harlequin back row is tainted by England's World Cup failure and will surely be replaced at the helm, although there are few stand-out alternatives.

SO IS THIS THE END OF ROBSHAW'S ENGLAND CAREER?

He may be stripped of the captaincy, but the 29-year-old will almost certainly be retained in the elite player squad named in January. With Jones favouring a genuine openside he is likely to look elsewhere at seven, but there could be a future for Robshaw's relentless work rate at blindside flanker.

WILL JONES MAKE SWEEPING CHANGES?

Jones must name his first squad - containing around 33 players - in mid-January but under the terms of the agreement with the clubs, he is only allowed to make 10 changes. Although this limits the scope for overhauling the EPS, the general consensus is that Lancaster's failing was his team rather than squad selection so Jones will be satisfied with most of those present.

COULD THERE BE ANY BOLTERS?

Wasps backs Elliot Daly and Joe Simpson have started the season with a bang and their Fijian-born club colleague Nathan Hughes, who qualifies for England in June, is a pick for later this year, but it is Henry Slade and Maro Itoje who are causing the greatest stir. Slade was superb in his two caps in and around the World Cup and has been outstanding for Exeter this season, while Itoje has also impressed for Saracens and his time is fast approaching.

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