Eddie Jones signs new deal to stay on as England head coach as he insists ‘conditions are right’ to lead Owen Farrell and Co to 2023 World Cup
- Eddie Jones has signed a new deal to remain as England’s coach until 2023
- Bill Sweeney, CEO of RFU, insisted he wanted the Australian to stay last year
- Jones led his side to the 2019 World Cup final, where they lost to South Africa
Eddie Jones will remain in his role as England’s national coach until the 2023 World Cup, after agreeing with the RFU to extend his contract.
The 60-year-old has led the national team since succeeding Stuart Lancaster in late 2015 and led his side to a place in the global final in Yokohama last November.
In the aftermath of that showpiece – which England lost 32-12 to South Africa – RFU chief Bill Sweeney indicated that he wanted to keep Australian services for the next four-year cycle, and that plan was confirmed by the union on Thursday.
Jones said, “Enlargement is a great honor for me, but in the current environment it is only good to recognize the difficult time the world is facing.
Eddie Jones has agreed on a new contract with the RFU to put him in charge until 2023
“We are all looking forward to a time when we can play rugby again and use the sport as a good force to bring people back together.
“I never thought I would come here four years ago, I would do a second four years, but the circumstances are right. It is of course important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be exclusively on that.
“I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team. Four years ago we wanted to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes. Now we want to be the team remembered as the best team the game has ever seen. It is a great ambition, but I think we can do it.
“We have players with an improved reputation, we have a team that is expected to perform well, so it’s a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward.”
While this wipes out speculation about Jones’s future, it is clear that in some circles the union was uneasy about the timing of an announcement, given the suspension of the rugby season, pay cuts and financial fears related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jones led England to the World Cup final in Japan last year, where they lost to South Africa
Bill Sweeney, CEO of RFU said, “My thoughts and all of us at the RFU are influenced by everyone by COVID-19, both across the country and within our own rugby union community.
“We like to share good news in exceptionally difficult times.
“We are delighted that Eddie will continue as head coach to lead England’s campaign to take us to the Rugby World Cup in 2023.
His record since joining speaks for itself and he has proven why he is one of the best coaches in the world in rugby. The progress England has shown since 2015 is indisputable and as we have deployed the youngest team ever to play in a World Cup final we know that even more growth is possible.
“We are all excited about what this team can do and it is very important that Eddie leads the team.
Bill Sweeney, CEO of the Rugby Football Union, has been forced to defend the timing of the deal
“We came to an agreement soon after our return from Japan, but there were some things we wanted to make sure they worked for both parties.
“We announced Eddie’s contract extension a few weeks later than planned as our focus shifted during this difficult time to support the English rugby community. We are now turning our attention to developing plans to support the rugby reboot and a winning team in England will play a crucial role in this. ‘
When he took over from Lancaster, Jones insisted that he remain in his post until 2019 and then move on or retire.
But last May Sports email exclusively revealed that he had changed his mind and was prepared to take on the English challenge at the 2023 World Cup, which will be held in France.
Australian Jason Ryles, 41, will return to England, set up as a skill coach
Jones’ tenure has been spectacularly successful, with a Grand Slam, another Six Nations title, a joint world record run of 17 consecutive Test wins and a series of Australia whitewash on tour in 2016. The appearance in last year’s World Cup Final came in after a 19-7 win over the mighty All Blacks, widely acclaimed as England’s best test performance and result.
Jones is considered the highest paid coach in the world, with a salary of £ 750,000, although he recently agreed to a pay cut of more than 25 percent amid RFU cost savings associated with the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent rugby shut down.
The RFU also confirmed that 41-year-old Australian Jason Ryles – who previously worked with Jones and England as a consultant – would join the national team as a skill coach to replace Steve Borthwick, who joins Leicester Tigers.