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Eddie Jones rules out regime change and accepts limitations of England structure

The England head coach knows club bosses will think of their priorities before the national team.

Eddie Jones is preparing for a busy autumn (Gareth Fuller/PA)
Eddie Jones is preparing for a busy autumn (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Eddie Jones insists he is powerless to transform the English system, saying: “I’m not Alexander the Great.”

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Unions oversee the domestic provinces with the vast majority of England’s major international rivals, enabling them to set the players’ salaries, workload and position on the pitch.

But in the Gallagher Premiership and French Top 14, clubs retain control of the players and often have conflicting interests that lead to less joined-up thinking.

England boss Eddie Jones orchestrates his plans in a squad get-together (Adam Davy/PA)

“I’m not Alexander the Great. This structure has been set up for years and you’re expecting a little Aussie like me to break it in three years,” England head coach Jones said.

“Unless you break it there will be no change, but I can’t control it and am happy to work with what we have.

“We can have discussions about what position a player should play, but the coaches get paid to make their clubs win.

“It’s not like the provinces in New Zealand or Australia or South Africa where they have a responsibility to the national team.

“That’s the structure and we work with it. We’ve got a responsibility to work with the clubs and we do that to a large extent. There’s always conflict, but we’ve established good relationships.”

England were exposed at the breakdown during the NatWest 6 Nations and recent tour to South Africa, largely because of the way it is approached and refereed on these shores.

Jones, however, has no say in how the game is officiated and what tactics clubs should use.

“It’s not my job to influence how the Premiership is played and I don’t think they would welcome it,” Jones said.

“The only thing I can affect is how the breakdown’s refereed in the international game and there are ongoing discussions with coaches and referees about that.”

England’s next assignment is a brutal autumn series against South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.



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