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Jones feels the African heat as England tumble to fifth defeat

South Africa 23 England 12

Eddie Jones
Eddie Jones

By Duncan Bech

Eddie Jones is facing questions over his future as England's tour to South Africa began to unravel in the Afrikaners' heartland of Bloemfontein.

The series was surrendered with a game to spare after Saturday's 23-12 defeat at Free State Stadium registered a fifth successive Test loss that plunges them to sixth in the global rankings.

It is understood that the Rugby Football Union has no plans to reconsider Jones' contract in response to the results, but the Australian is under growing pressure to lead England out of an alarming slump that began with a fifth-place finish at the NatWest 6 Nations.

To make matters worse, Jones will be without Billy Vunipola for the third and final Test against the Springboks after the bulldozing number eight fractured an arm.

Evidence that the tension is affecting both players and coach abounded at Free State Stadium, where Jones turned on a broadcaster.

When asked if he can reverse the slide, Jones said: "I'm 100 per cent confident. 100 per cent as you are aggressive. Your nature is very aggressive, mate."

Belfast Telegraph


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