Mon. May 23rd, 2022


Bill Sweeney, head of the RFU, said: “We believe we’ve got such a wealth of English coaches in the game. As a leading rugby nation, we should be developing English coaches and an English style of play”

Last Updated: 27/03/22 8:11am

Eddie Jones has been deemed under pressure after a disappointing Six Nations campaign

Eddie Jones has been deemed under pressure after a disappointing Six Nations campaign

The head of the Rugby Football Union (RFU), Bill Sweeney, said he would prefer to appoint an English successor to head coach Eddie Jones.

Sweeney has given his support to Jones, who is under pressure after successive disappointing campaigns in the Six Nations. Australian Jones has a contract with the RFU until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Sweeney’s intention to appoint homegrown coaches as Jones’ successor would effectively rule out former Wales coach Warren Gatland or ex-South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney says no head coach is indispensable but has backed Eddie Jones and the work he is doing with England as they build up their efforts towards the rugby World Cup in 2023

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RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney says no head coach is indispensable but has backed Eddie Jones and the work he is doing with England as they build up their efforts towards the rugby World Cup in 2023

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney says no head coach is indispensable but has backed Eddie Jones and the work he is doing with England as they build up their efforts towards the rugby World Cup in 2023

“We believe we’ve got such a wealth of English coaches in the game,” Sweeney told British media on Saturday. “As a leading rugby nation, we should be developing English coaches and an English style of play.

“That should be long-term and therefore the preference would be to have an English set-up as far as I’m concerned.”

Jones, who arrived in 2016 and was the first overseas appointment as England head coach, has led the team to three Six Nations titles and a Rugby World Cup runners-up finish at Japan in 2019.

Sweeney said the RFU has “an advanced succession plan” in place.

“We’ve got a war room that’s got every English coach you can imagine based here and based internationally,” Sweeney said.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney insisted England's Six Nations campaign was simply 'not good enough' but believes progress had been made in some areas

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RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney insisted England’s Six Nations campaign was simply ‘not good enough’ but believes progress had been made in some areas

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney insisted England’s Six Nations campaign was simply ‘not good enough’ but believes progress had been made in some areas

Conor O’Shea, RFU director of performance rugby, said the governing body aims to name the successor before the summer of 2023.

“Whether that’s embedding them into the programme or taking a helicopter view, that’s a discussion to be had. We would like to think we will be appointing them in the lead up to 2023,” O’Shea added.

British media has also linked Steve Borthwick, Rob Baxter and Richard Cockerill with the England head coach role.





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