Should England stick with Eddie Jones?

The line between success and failure in sport is a very thin one

Should England stick with Eddie Jones?
The line between success and failure in sport is a very thin one. It could have been all so different for England head coach Eddie Jones had his side won the World Cup but instead they lost to South Africa and now all of a sudden there are question marks over the future of the Australian. The life of an international rugby coach can indeed be a thankless task because, in reality, Jones was only 80 minutes away from being lauded as one of the greatest to have ever coached England. 

 

So, has Jones done enough over the last four years to keep the wolves at bay or should England have really gone on to win the 2019 World Cup?

The short answer is that Jones has done more than enough when you consider that England were dumped out the 2015 World Cup in the pool stages and then in the space of four years were able to turn it around, and make the final of the competition. That is outstanding progress regardless of what way you look at it.

 

There have also been some very impressive feats along the way over the last four years as well, namely winning the Six Nations Grand Slam, beating South Africa for the first time since 2006 and whitewashing Australia 3-0 down under. Once the whipping boys of international rugby, Jones has now turned England into a world-class outfit and the best team in Europe as their Six Nations odds of 8/11 to win the 2020 showpiece confirms. 

And if there is any lingering doubt over whether he is the man to take England forward then Jones's overall record of 51 matches, 39 wins, 2 draws and 10 losses should address those concerns. England will struggle to find a replacement who will match those numbers.

As a way of comparison, Jones’ predecessor Stuart Lancaster lost 17 of his 46 games in charge and only managed 28 wins before he quit as England head coach. You’d have to admit spells of Jones’ tenure have been the golden age of England rugby. A stat that jumps out at you is that under Jones, England have played Australia's seven times and won all seven encounters. Putting the boot into the old enemy is always going to go down well with the English fans and with Jones at the helm, England have broken Australian rugby in half.  

Continuation under Jones is what England need if they are to go one better at the 2023 World Cup in France given that changing the head coach now would undo all the progress that this England side has made over the last four years. Now is certainly the time for everyone to remain patient despite the heartbreak of losing a World Cup final and try to think of it from the perspective of how bad it was in 2015. 

Eddie Jones has given England rugby its pride back after a disastrous few years and now has the foundation to make England the very best side in the world when they cross the Channel in four short years to fight for the right to lift the Webb Ellis Cup once again.


Updated Date: 14 November 2019, 15:42

John Thunberbold

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