Eddie Jones given vote of confidence by RFU chief executive Steve Brown
England have lost three consecutive games.
Eddie Jones has been assured that his position as England head coach remains secure until the 2019 World Cup even if the team continues their downward spiral.
Rugby Football Union chief executive Steve Brown has given Jones the vote of confidence despite a run of three successive defeats in the NatWest 6 Nations that resulted in a dismal fifth-place finish.
It was England’s worst performance in the competition since 1987 and saw them replaced by Grand Slam-winning Ireland in second in the global rankings.
Sir Clive Woodward and Warren Gatland have warned of the possible extension of the losing run given a tour to South Africa looms in June followed by Tests against the Springboks and New Zealand to open the autumn series.
But Brown insists Jones retains his full backing and takes comfort in the Australian’s overall win percentage of 86 per cent.
Asked if the RFU are committed to Jones, Brown replied: “That’s always been our plan. We have to be.
“You wouldn’t want to think about that run of results, but I’m confident we will recover at some point. Ultimately the goal is to have stability and consistency through until the World Cup.
Eddie Jones after Ireland defeat: ‘You have these runs. It’s not nice but it’s part of development. Every championship team has a run like this. We haven’t regressed in terms of results, but we’re clearer about where we want to go’ pic.twitter.com/xEnh2YAtPf— Duncan Bech (@DuncanBech) March 17, 2018
“We are going to have to manage the results as we go, but the plan is to get them back to where they were.
“Eddie and his coaches have my confidence and the measure of how good they are and can be will be how they respond to these tough times.
“We wanted to do significantly better and we didn’t. We’re disappointed with the decline, no question about that. Nobody would want to go from winning the Six Nations to fifth.
“It’s worth reflecting that Eddie has an 86 per cent win record with England. You don’t become a bad coach or team overnight. But we have to learn and have to improve.”
Jones was in January awarded a two-year contract extension until 2021 with a break clause subject to performance at Japan 2019, but Brown revealed that pre-World Cup it is a “standard employment contract so there is always that option (to part company), but there is not a specific performance element in it”.
Concern has been raised over Jones’ autocratic style and the lack of a performance director at Twickenham to challenge him, but Brown insists he is held to account.
“The first person that puts Eddie straight is Eddie. Eddie is self-critical, challenges himself and that’s something I’ve seen in the seven months I’ve been his boss,” Brown said.
“He has his own personal network of peers and others that he talks to all the time. He has a group of people within his camp who aren’t just coaches, but advisors as well. He also has a number of external references.
“But I am ultimately his boss and he reports to me. Eddie and I meet weekly and pretty much have daily dialogue so I’m aware of pretty much everything that is going on in camp.
“I am the chief executive of the RFU and the buck stops with me. Ultimately I am responsible for the performances of all of the people in the RFU including Eddie and the England team.”