International Rugby

RFU chairman offering no guarantees over Jones future

Rugby Football Union chairman Andy Cosslett has backed Eddie Jones but said there are no guarantees the head coach will still be in charge of England for the 2019 World Cup.

Jones masterminded a record-equalling run of 18 consecutive Test victories after being appointed as Stuart Lancaster’s successor.

But the Australian’s position has come under scrutiny following five losses in a row, a sequence which was ended by a consolation victory over South Africa at Newlands last Saturday.

Cosslett praised the job Jones has done, but offered no assurances that he will still be at the helm for the showpiece in Japan next year after a 2-1 series loss to the Springboks.

“Things happen at the most inconvenient time – that’s what life does. There is no time limit and you make decisions on the basis of the evidence or information you have at any given moment,” said Cosslett.

“Hopefully we won’t have to face that and we will have a run through to the World Cup.

“We have shown a lot of confidence in Eddie and we think he is still the man, but we will see where it goes to from here in terms of the next few months.

“You’re asking for unconditional support but only my children get that. And even then not always!

“It’s not something you give because you’re under assessment the whole time. It’s just not what we do.”

He added: “Eddie has earned the right to make a strong case for the way ahead. We’ll listen to his review of the tour and it will be fascinating to hear what he’s got to say.

“Eddie came to our union when it was at its lowest ebb after the World Cup. He grabbed it and took us on this extraordinary run.

“He has tremendous credit at the union for what he’s done. We’re very grateful to him for what he did at the time when we needed it most. We’ve had a reversal, which now hopefully we’ve sprung out of it.

“The win in Cape Town was great, it was important and fantastic for the team, for the squad and everyone involved, but you have to keep a sense of proportion about this.” News wire is powered by opta

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