Chris Robshaw believes that Eddie Jones is the “right man” to lead England into a Rugby World Cup year; Jones has come under fire after a disappointing Autumn Nations Series campaign; RFU are holding review where Jones will be discussed
Last Updated: 01/12/22 8:41am
Former England captain, Chris Robshaw has backed Eddie Jones to remain in charge of the national side despite a poor run of recent form and results.
Former England captain Chris Robshaw believes that Eddie Jones is the “right man” to lead England into the Rugby World Cup, describing him as the best “man manager” he has ever worked with.
England’s November campaign brought confirmation they had endured their worst calendar year for 12 years dating back to 2008, as they posted a losing Test record for the first time since that year too: six losses, one draw, five wins, piling the pressure on Jones ahead of a World Cup year.
The last two Six Nations campaigns in 2021 and 2022, when England finished fifth and third respectively after losing three Tests in each, prompted formal reviews, both of which Jones survived.
England’s 2022 campaign under Eddie Jones
|Scotland 20-17 England||Italy 0-33 England|
|England 23-19 Wales||England 15-32 Ireland|
|France 25-13 England||England 21-52 Barbarians|
|Australia 30-28 England||Australia 17-25 England|
|Australia 17-21 England||England 29-30 Argentina|
|England 52-13 Japan||England 25-25 New Zealand|
|England 13-27 South Africa|
The RFU are now holding a two-week review after a dismal Autumn Nations Series, where Jones will be discussed, and with only five competitive matches left until next year’s World Cup now would appear to be the final juncture at which they would look to make a change in head coach to give a successor enough time to work with the squad.
Robshaw has given Jones his full backing and believes he will “prove people wrong” once the World Cup rolls around.
“It was tough. I have been in these situations and the Autumn can be tough because you are playing against the best teams in the world,” Robshaw said, speaking at the Kerslake Robshaw Foundation launch which Robshaw set up with his wife Camilla Kerslake to “support promising young people from less privileged backgrounds to further their education and career, through music and sport”.
England head coach Eddie Jones reflects on defeat to South Africa in their Autumn international but does feel that his squad is making progress as they head into a World Cup year in 2023.
“It is about taking your medicine and thinking, OK, in this competition and in this series, we weren’t quite good enough, but we can come back stronger.
“We also have to learn to move forward, you can’t look down on it too much because there are still positives to come from it and we need to think about how we can be better next time we meet.
“I saw a tweet earlier today saying, eight months ago, they were saying the same thing about Gareth Southgate and the England football team and now look at how they have played in this World Cup, they have been superb so far.
“In sport, things change very quickly, and I very much believe Eddie (Jones) is the right man to lead the squad, from my experience he is the best man-manager I have ever worked with and his ability to make players better and better.
“He is someone who will definitely go away and study what went right and very much importantly, what went wrong and why it didn’t work.
“He will want to go back out there and prove people wrong, and I have no doubt he is the right man.”
England’s 2023 schedule
|England vs Scotland||Saturday, February 4||Six Nations 2023|
|England vs Italy||Sunday, February 12||Six Nations 2023|
|Wales vs England||Saturday, February 25||Six Nations 2023|
|England vs France||Saturday, March 11||Six Nations 2023|
|Ireland vs England||Saturday, March 18||Six Nations 2023|
|Wales vs England||Saturday, August 5||World Cup warm-up|
|England vs Wales||Saturday, August 12||World Cup warm-up|
|Ireland vs England||Saturday, August 19||World Cup warm-up|
|England vs Fiji||Saturday, August 26||World Cup warm-up|
|England vs Argentina||Saturday, September 9||Rugby World Cup 2023, Pool D|
|England vs Japan||Sunday, September 17||Rugby World Cup 2023, Pool D|
|England vs Chile||Saturday, September 23||Rugby World Cup 2023, Pool D|
|England vs Samoa||Saturday, October 7||Rugby World Cup 2023, Pool D|
The RFU stopped short of giving their backing to Jones in Sunday’s statement after a calendar year that has seen in England win just five of their last 12 matches. This is in contrast to March where they said they “fully supported” Jones and praised the “solid progress” that the team had made despite sole victories over Italy and Wales in the Six Nations.
But Robshaw isn’t the only person who believes that Jones should continue in his role, Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care has offered his support to the England coach despite being frozen out after England’s tour of Australia and being benched after 35 minutes in Sydney.
“Obviously it was disappointing, there is no hiding away from that,” said Care.
England captain Owen Farrell says the squad are hurting after defeat to South Africa at Twickenham but says the players will put the good work they have done to use as they prepare for the Six Nations in February.
“England need to be better and have to be better.
“Eddie has been my best coach as an England coach, I have had my greatest success under Eddie.
“He knows how to win World Cups, he knows how to do well in World Cups and obviously the RFU have a lot to think about and some opportunities to explore but you can’t hide away from the calibre Eddie has.
“What I know about Eddie is, he likes to be the underdog, he likes to have that tag, maybe this was the plan all along.
“You never know with Eddie, he always seems to be one step ahead of the game.”
Ronan O’Gara, Scott Robertson, Steve Borthwick and Warren Gatland are all candidates who have been tipped to replace Jones if the RFU decide to make a change.
Moody: There are questions to be asked
Despite receiving the backing of the likes of Robshaw and Care, others aren’t as sure that Jones is right for the future of English rugby and 2003 World Cup winner Lewis Moody believes that questions will be asked by the RFU.
Former England captain Lewis Moody has suggested the time has come to replace Eddie Jones as England head coach after poor results in the autumn internationals.
“It wasn’t great and much needs to improve,” said Moody.
“You look at a Six Nations and Rugby World Cup around the corner and wonder where that improvement is going to come from now.
“There is no doubt the talent is there, the players are there, we see it week in and week out in the Premiership, it is how you harness that in such a short period of time, it will be a challenge.
“Before the autumn I would have said definitely not, I think there are questions to be asked around that now, especially with the performances seemingly getting worse rather than better.
“It doesn’t surprise me that questions are now being asked and we will see what the next couple of weeks hold.
“Something is going wrong at the minute and the RFU needs to figure out what.”