Jones wishes England well at RWC 'but not against us'


Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has pointed the finger at the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for the crisis enveloping his former England side.

England's troubled World Cup preparations hit a new low when they lost to Fiji last weekend - the fifth defeat in their last six matches.

They have subsequently slipped to their lowest ranking in 20 years and expectations of a strong campaign in France over the next two months are low.

It is a rapid decline from the last World Cup in 2019, when Jones took them to the final.

Jones, who was in January appointed Australia coach for the second time, oversaw England's national side for seven years between 2015 and 2022.

His successor Steve Borthwick is coming under increasing pressure but Jones insisted the governing body is responsible for England's woes after failing to produce the next generation of talent.

"It's a difficult situation, like you've got an ageing team," Jones told BBC Radio 4's Today program.

"Anyone who knows anything about sport can see that, and then you've got new players coming in.

"Some of them have come through and done really well, like a Freddie Stewart, others are still finding their feet, like a Marcus Smith.

"You look at the results of England over the last five years but they're not producing quality players.

"And so everyone looks at the head coach and let's blame the head coach.

"But the onus on producing quality players is the RFU and that hasn't happened.

"(It's) because the system's not right. What needs to change? Where's the gap? That's the responsibility of the RFU and it's not for me to give them answers."

If England make it through to the quarter-final, Jones' Australia could be the team they face.

But the 63-year-old does not fear a reunion.

"I'm only worried about them if we play them in the quarter-final," he said.

"They're a team that I coached for seven years, so I look back at them with affection. I like the players.

"I'd like to see them do well, but not do well against us.

"I wouldn't feel any affection for England at that time. I can tell you."