Rugby-England coach Jones to be sacked, say UK media

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - International - England v South Africa - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 26, 2022 England head coach Eddie Jones during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Tony Obrien/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - The Rugby Football Union is expected to make an announcement on Tuesday or Wednesday regarding the future of coach Eddie Jones, with widespread media reports suggesting the Australian is to be sacked in the wake of the team's poor run.

Jones met his RFU bosses on Monday following a review of England's November series when they were booed off at Twickenham after losing to South Africa, following another defeat against Argentina, a draw against New Zealand and a victory over Japan.

Jones, who took over after England's group-stage exit from the 2015 World Cup, has a contract until the end of next year's tournament in France, having led the team to the final in 2019.

The RFU said no outcome from Monday’s review panel meeting would be announced but that any recommendation would be put to the RFU Board on Tuesday.

England won only five of their 12 tests in 2022 after a second-successive Six Nations where they lost three of their five games.

Despite the run of poor results and performances, Jones was adamant he would turn England into a team capable of winning the World Cup for a second time but with the tournament only nine months away multiple media reports say his time is up.

The Daily Mail has suggested former England captain and assistant coach Steve Borthwick, currently at Leicester, is to take over.

There was also speculation Warren Gatland could replace Jones but that option came off the table on Monday when he was reappointed as Wales coach after Wayne Pivac was dismissed.

England's World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward said Jones had paid the price for focusing on the 2023 global showpiece.

"He’s a much better coach than he has shown over the past three years. He is a shadow of the Jones I competed with and whose first years with England were so successful and rightfully applauded," Woodward wrote in the Daily Mail.

"He became completely focused on the 2023 World Cup and that was a costly error. International rugby is very simple: focus everything on the next game with absolutely zero distractions. The fans who pump the money into the sport didn’t buy his hype.

"He lost the focus of simply winning the next game and allowed himself to get distracted by the media, former players, writing books and everything else."

(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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