Eddie Jones has launched a scathing attack on English rugby’s “crazy” set-up.
Jones, who coached Australia to the World Cup final in 2003 and currently holds the post of Saracens director of rugby, said there were “problems across the board” after three defeats in as many weeks to Australia, South Africa and New Zealand.
Jones targeted their overall game (they’ve conceded 102 points and scored 26, while letting in nine tries and scoring just one), saying manager Martin Johnson had some tough decisions to make.
“The problems are across the board,” Jones said. “England haven’t got a coherent understanding of how to attack and their defence is poor. They have conceded 100 points in three games – you won’t do anything in Test rugby if you concede 100 points.
“I think Martin has to decide whether he wants to be the head coach. If he is the manager, then who is the head coach? Someone has to take responsibility for coaching the team.”
Jones also slammed the Rugby Football Union for their inability to develop players capable of playing at the elite level, suggesting a second-tier competition where young players could be developed.
“Look at the England side now compared to 2004 and there has basically been no development. You have experienced players and inexperienced players and nothing in between.Young players can lift and run as fast as you want – but they have to play games.”
Jones added that England had to employ a selection strategy aimed at having a core of experienced players at the 2011 World Cup.
“Historically a World Cup has been won by a team with 650 caps which is about 40 caps per player. England have to pick a squad now that is going to win the World Cup in 2011,” he said.
“George Smith played for Australia when he was 19 because he was always going to be the best flanker in Australia, so you are better off playing him and allowing him to accumulate that experience.”