England SACK Eddie Jones after a dismal run of results with the Australian’s seven-year reign brought to an end just nine months before the World Cup… and Leicester’s Steve Borthwick is lined up to replace him
Eddie Jones has been sacked as England’s head coach, ending his seven-year reign, with Richard Cockerill taking over until a permanent replacement is found.
The Australian left Twickenham on Tuesday morning and RFU CEO Bill Sweeney confirmed the termination of his contract shortly after.
A dismal run of five wins from the last 12 Tests prompted the RFU to pull the trigger and get rid of him less than a year out from the World Cup.
Sportsmail revealed that Jones would be given his marching orders and Jones gave the players his best wishes as he departed.
‘I am pleased with much that we have achieved as an England team and I look forward to watching the team’s performance in the future,’ said Jones. ‘Many of the players and I will no doubt keep in touch and I wish them all well in their future careers.’
England’s miserable autumn, which featured a crushing defeat by South Africa and narrow loss by Argentina highlighted the team’s issues, which have been festering for some time. Steve Borthwick is expected to be named as the new head coach, with the RFU working on ‘concluding the long-term work it has been undertaking on coach succession planning’.
Jones repeatedly asserted that the defeats and sub-par displays were part of the wider plan to prepare for the World Cup in France next year.
Eddie Jones has been sacked as England head coach, ending his seven-year reign
England have looked lost for some time and their recent results have been poor
However, those excuses did not wash following the RFU’s review into the team on Monday afternoon.
Sweeney said: ‘It is important to recognise the huge contribution Eddie has made to English rugby, winning three Six Nations Championships, one Grand Slam and taking us to a Rugby World Cup final.
‘He has the highest win ratio of any previous England head coach and has helped develop the leadership skills of many players and coaches. I am grateful to Eddie for all he has done for England across many areas of the game and the professional way in which he has approached reviewing the performance of the team.
‘He has provided the panel with astute insight and meaningful lessons that will support the team performance going forward.’ Speaking about the decision, RFU Chair, Tom Ilube said: ‘The independent review panel regularly updates board on its discussions and findings. We are fully supportive of its process and recommendations.’
Steve Borthwick was a coach under Jones before leaving for Leicester and will now aim to reinvigorate the national side for the Six Nations next year
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Borthwick led the side to the Premiership last season
The 62-year-old took part in a meeting with his RFU bosses and the secretive review panel on Monday afternoon.
There it was decided that he would be removed from his post. The board then ratified the decision on Tuesday morning.
Public opinion turned against Jones, who led England to the final of the last World Cup where they suffered defeat by South Africa, after the latest run of fixtures.
The only victory of the autumn came over Japan and even though there was an impressive rally to draw with New Zealand, an ill-disciplined defeat by Argentina and feeble capitulation against the Springboks led to boos from the Twickenham faithful.
England are in need of an uplift following their worst run of results for some time
It is thought that a deal had been done to integrate Borthwick into the England set-up from June, but he will now be tasked with overseeing a revival in the Six Nations, ahead of the World Cup next autumn.
Wales moved quickly to rehire Warren Gatland after parting ways with Wayne Pivac, and the Kiwi could have been an option to guide England to the World Cup.
Scott Robertson has also been talked about as a possible successor but Borthwick is anticipated to be named in due course.