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‘No complaints’ from Jones over England sacking

Eddie Jones said on Wednesday he had no complaints about the way he was sacked as England coach, just nine months before the start of the Rugby World Cup.

The 62-year-old Australian, who had been in charge since 2015, was axed after a poor 2022 which saw England win just five of their 12 matches. 

“I could feel the change in the wind,” he told the BBC.

“We never complain when they appoint us and so we can’t complain when they decide to unappoint us.

“I understand the decision. I don’t have an issue with it.”

Jones took England to the final of the 2019 World Cup, where they lost to South Africa, and always targeted success in France next year. 

However, he was let down by a poor Six Nations in which England won just two matches and an equally disappointing Autumn Series that produced losses to Argentina and South Africa, a draw with New Zealand and victory over Japan.

“I had a good go but they’ve made their decision that they don’t think I can do the job to the level that they want and I can’t argue with that. I’m in no position to argue with it.”

There was frustration within the Rugby Football Union over Jones’ focus on the World Cup at the expense of immediate success but he insists he was right to concentrate on delivering at France 2023, after which his contract was over.

“There are two views,” he said. 

“Of course the next game is important, no one is ever saying it’s not. But also the World Cup is the ultimate trophy. 

“I wouldn’t have done anything differently.

“I was quite confident that we were on the right track leading up to the World Cup and I’m still of that belief. 

“We had a plan to be peaking at the World Cup and unfortunately we didn’t get the opportunity to finish that. I felt it was coming.

“Sometimes the results don’t go your way and you pay for that. I know that as well as anyone so I don’t have any regrets over what I did.”

Next step

Jones was replaced on Monday by Leicester boss Steve Borthwick, who was his assistant coach with Japan for three years and then England for five.

“They were a great bunch of boys,” said Jones. 

“They play hard and they train hard and have a lot of pride in playing well for England. I’m sure they’re going to do well under Steve.”

The much-travelled Jones, who coached Australia between 2001 and 2005 and advised South Africa in 2007 when they won the Webb Ellis Trophy, confirmed he has held talks with other unions over possible roles.

“I’ve had chats with people in various organisations about the possibility of joining their team in a capacity over the next 24 months,” Jones said.

“I’ve had chats with other federations. I’m not privy to break confidentiality about that.”

And he parried suggestions that he may be about to return to Australia as a replacement for under-pressure Wallabies boss Dave Rennie.

“Be a discerning reader,” he laughed. “Never believe what you read in the papers.”

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