Eddie Jones sacked as England head coach

Richard Cockerill named interim boss with RFU yet to name a permanent replacement

Eddie Jones has been sacked as England head coach just nine months out from the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Leicester’s Steve Borthwick the overwhelming frontrunner to replace him permanently but for now, Richard Cockerill has been named as interim England boss.

The Rugby Football Union’s decision to end the Australian’s seven-year tenure comes after a review into England’s dismal autumn campaign, with Jones’s team losing to Argentina and South Africa, battling back to draw with New Zealand and beating only Japan.

The results meant England suffered their worst year since 2008, having also finished third in the Six Nations after defeats to Scotland, Ireland and France.

The departing Jones started on the front foot when taking over from Stuart Lancaster as head coach in 2015, making an instant impact with England immediately recording a Six Nations grand slam.


That was England’s first slam since 2003, and started a successful period with Jones leading his team to 22 victories across his first 23 Tests. During that time, he led a 3-0 series whitewash in Australia and added a second Six Nations title in 2017.

The following year, however, would comprise six defeats in 12 Tests and though Jones also led England to the remarkable 2019 World Cup semi-final victory over New Zealand, recent results have prompted the RFU to act.

In a statement, RFU chairman Bill Sweeney said: “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.

“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 himself added: “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.”

- Guardian