Eddie Jones sacking sparks savage backlash for England Rugby

Eddie Jones is pictured after a rugby match as England coach.
Eddie Jones has been sacked as England's rugby coach, a decision that has left many fans frustrated. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England rugby fans have reacted with fury after head coach Eddie Jones was sacked just six months before next year's Rugby World Cup. The Australian mentor had guided England to its worst season since 2008, in which they triumphed in just five of 12 Tests, including one draw.

Jones, who guided England to the 2019 World Cup final against South Africa, has had his seven-year reign as head coach brought to an abrupt end. He was the second coach in the UK to be sacked in the space of 24 hours, with Wales moving on from their coach, Wayne Pivac.

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Despite boasting a strong overall record, England's poor results in the year before a World Cup have ended up costing Jones his job. Forwards coach Richard Cockerill will step in as interim coach while the RFU begins the search for a new coach.

Jones was contracted until after the World Cup next year, at which point it was understood the highly successful coach would step down in order to promote some new blood. But a torrid stretch for England has motivated the RFU to pull the trigger on said change much earlier than expected.

The move was met with frustration from sources close to Jones, who likened sacking the coach who boasted a 73 per cent win rate as England coach to a 'gross act of self-harm'. Former Wallabies great Matt Giteau described the move as a terrible mistake for England, particularly ahead of the World Cup next year.

"If Eddie Jones gets sacked it would have to be the silliest thing they could do to the English rugby team," Giteau tweeted. "He plans & plans & plans years in advance for this competition. It’s the one competition that he has got consistently right time and time again. Big mistake (in my opinion)."

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Fury as England sack head coach Eddie Jones

Jones' fate looked to be sealed following England's final game of the 2022 season, in which fans jeered them off the park at Twickenham following a brutal 27-13 loss to South Africa. The oft-outspoken coach said could hold his head high after his sacking.

"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," he said. The RFU now have a race on their hands to find a new coach before their Six Nations opener in February next year.

A review of England's campaign throughout Autumn, a regular process undertaken anonymously, with the findings setting the stage for Jones to be sacked on Tuesday. Obvious choices to replace Jones have also come off the table in recent days and weeks, with former Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara ruling himself out, while former Wales coach Warren Gatland returning to the role after the aforementioned departure of Pivac.

Confirmation of Jones' sacking came during a meeting with Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney at Twickenham on Tuesday morning. "It's important to recognise the huge contribution Eddie has made to English rugby, winning three Six Nations, one Grand Slam and taking us to a World Cup final," Sweeney said.

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

With AAP

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