Eddie Jones sacked as England rugby coach

Australian set to be replaced by Leicester director of rugby Steve Borthwick

Eddie Jones's seven-year tenure as England coach was brought to an end on Tuesday. AFP
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Eddie Jones has been sacked as England head coach after seven years in charge.

A dismal showing in the autumn series concluded England’s worst year since 2008, comprising of six defeats, a draw and five wins, prompting the Rugby Football Union to act.

Australian Jones, 62, who took over after England's group-stage exit from the 2015 tournament they hosted, had a contract until the end of next year's World Cup in France.

In its statement announcing his dismissal, the RFU revealed that forwards coach Richard Cockerill will take charge of England on an interim basis.

Following this year's Six Nations, which brought defeats by Scotland, Ireland and France, RFU head Bill Sweeney was widely ridiculed for saying there were signs of solid progress.

Following the dispiriting 27-13 defeat by a weakened South Africa last month – and Jones' subsequent comment that he did not care what anybody else thought – appears to have been the final straw for the anonymous panel that sat to review the Tests, that also included defeat by Argentina, a draw against New Zealand and victory over Japan.

In a statement on Tuesday, 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 England head coach and has helped develop the leadership skills of many players and coaches.

"I am grateful to Eddie for 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."

Jones said: "I am pleased with much that we have achieved as an England team and I look forward to watching their performance in the future. Many of the players and I will no doubt keep in touch and I wish them all well in their future careers."

After announcing his dismissal, the governing body said: "The RFU will now conclude the long-term work it has been undertaking on coach succession planning with changes set to be announced in the near future. In the interim, [forwards coach] Richard Cockerill will take over the day to day running of the men's team."

Updated: December 06, 2022, 12:14 PM