Eddie Jones has been installed as England's head coach on a four-year deal and will lead them into the 2016 Six Nations
The well-travelled Jones has signed a four-year deal which begins in December. His first match in charge of what could a much-changed England line-up, will be against Scotland in the Six Nations, at Murrayfield on 6 February. He replaces Stuart Lancaster, who parted company with the RFU last week following England’s failure in their home World Cup.
Talking on his appointment, Jones said: “I hope to build a new team that will reflect the talent that exists within the English game. I believe the future is bright for England. I’m now looking forward to working with the RFU and the players to move beyond the disappointment England suffered at the World Cup.”
Jones’s appointment comes after a short search. Earlier this month RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie had said: “The most important thing is to get the right person. It’s very important we get a head coach of proven International experience. Speed is important, but the right person is more important.” In signing up Jones by mid November he has secured a proven Test coach, quickly.
Also making a statement today, Ritchie said: “Eddie is a world-class coach, with extensive experience at the highest level with Australia, South Africa and Japan. We believe that the appointment, which was unanimously approved by the RFU board, is the right one to bring England success in the short, medium and long term.”
Jones most recently coached Japan in the Rugby World Cup, shocking the world with an opening defeat of South Africa – a result many believe to be the sport’s greatest upset. Japan went on to become the first World Cup side ever to win three games and not progress from their pool.
Jones will perhaps be best known to England fans as the man who led Australia to the World Cup final in 2003, losing to Clive Woodward’s England. He was also assistant to Jake White in 2007 when the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis trophy.
In the club game, Jones’s Brumbies side were the first Super Rugby side outside of New Zealand to lift the title, in 2001 and he had a short, largely unhappy stint at Saracens in 2008/09 as Director of Rugby, with Andy Farrell one of his players.
Ten days ago he made a planned return to Super Rugby, taking the reins of the Stormers franchise in South Africa, before England came knocking.