Eddie Jones sacked as England head coach less than 12 months out from the 2023 Rugby World Cup

The RFU has decided to end Eddie Jones' seven-year reign as England head coach after a disappointing autumn campaign

By Callum Davis Published: 6 December 2022 - 11.47am
Warren Gatland

Eddie Jones has been dismissed as England head coach after seven years at the helm following a disappointing Autumn Nations Series.

The decision comes after the Rugby Football Union held a review into England's underwhelming autumn campaign, which culminated in a lacklustre 27-13 defeat by South Africa that saw the home side booed off at Twickenham.

Despite a summer series victory in Australia, 2022 has been a difficult year for Jones and England, with just five wins in 13 matches.

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France, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Australia and Argentina have all beaten England in the last 12 months and the RFU have opted to make a change with the Rugby World Cup in France less than a year away.

The move to replace Jones so close to next year's tournament is a big gamble given the Australian's impressive record at World Cups.

As well as taking England to the final in Japan in 2019, he finished as a runner-up with Australia in 2003.

He was also part of the backroom staff that helped South Africa to the title in 2007 and secured a famous victory over the Springboks as Japan's coach in 2015.

A statement from RFU CEO Bill Sweeney read: "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," said RFU CEO, Bill Sweeney.

"He has the highest win ratio of any previous England head coach and has helped develop the leadership skills of many players and coaches.

"I am grateful to Eddie for all he has done for England across many areas of the game and 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 going forward."

Jones said: "I am pleased with much that we have achieved as an England team and I look forward to watching the team’s 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."

Speaking about the decision, RFU Chair, Tom Ilube said: "The independent review panel regularly updates board on its discussions and findings.  We are fully supportive of its process and recommendations."

England coach Richard Cockerill will take charge of the national side on an interim basis while the RFU begin their search for Jones' long-term successor.

Leicester Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick is understood to be the leading candidate, with Kiwi Scott Robertson and La Rochalle's Ronan O'Gara also mooted as potential replacements.