England’s step backwards puts Eddie Jones’s approach in the spotlight

Woeful Six Nations campaign has raised questions about head coach’s ability to continue to get the best out of his squad

After the World Cup final defeat by South Africa nearly 18 months ago, Eddie Jones thought long and hard about whether he wanted to remain as England’s head coach. The RFU evidently wanted to keep him, and at some point during a week spent on the Japanese island of Okinawa, in between three CrossFit sessions a day, Jones made the decision to continue.

It came with a clear caveat, however – that ultimately his players will let him know if he should carry on. The point being, if they are still responding to him, still playing for him, then there was no reason to walk away. Jones gave that explanation on the eve of the 2020 Six Nations and while England were resoundingly beaten by France a day or two later, subsequent victories over Scotland, Ireland and Wales convinced him to sign on through until the 2023 World Cup.

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