Former England No8 Lawrence Dallaglio has insisted that England must stick with head coach Eddie Jones until his contract expires at the end of next year’s World Cup in France.
“I would say that Eddie Jones is our coach until the World Cup, that’s the reality of it,” 85-cap Dallaglio told City A.M. “I don’t believe in making those chop and change decisions.”
Jones’s England face the prospect of finishing fifth at a second consecutive Six Nations just 18 months out from a World Cup, which would continue their run of poor results across the competition in recent years.
That said, Eddie Jones has led England to three Six Nations championships – in 2016, 2017 and 2020 – with the first of those being a Grand Slam year.
“I know what people say about Rassie Erasmus [the coach who took South Africa to World Cup glory at short notice] but South Africa were in such a mess before he took over that it was a completely different proposition,” Dallaglio added.
“Eddie Jones is so close to the World Cup and I don’t believe that they should be changing that appointment around, quite frankly.
“It’s just not the way it works. They’ve got to crack on.”
England crowd electric in London
England put in a spirited performance against Ireland whilst down a man for all but two minutes of the game but succumbed to the Irish dominance and lost 32-15.
“It was a very strange feeling because it’s very unusual to hear a stadium that is electric when you’re losing, it was extraordinary,” Dallaglio said.
“I’m not sure that the team have had connection with the fans in the same way as maybe England teams in the past.
“It’s probably because he [Jones] keeps chopping and changing.
“It doesn’t help because you’re kind of wondering who you are cheering for so as soon as the red happened the fans had to get behind the team and the team had to respond. It was an amazing atmosphere.
“We need to hear from a few more of our players who play for England and then we might understand who they are.”
Future is bright
Between now and the World Cup, Eddie Jones’s men are set for a tour of Australia, another autumn nations series – which will include a hotly anticipated match against the All Blacks – and one further Six Nations campaign before all eyes turn to rugby’s showpiece event.
“England have had a lot of challenges going into this tournament with players that we wanted to be fit not being fit,” Dallaglio added.
“Marcus Smith has, obviously, been a huge positive for England and English rugby, full stop, but he can’t win games on his own.
“The emergence of Harry Randall has been positive, though I do think that there’s probably a little bit more shuffling to be done there within that No9 spot.
“There are so many quality players in that position at the moment: Alex Mitchell is there, Raffi Quirke too.
“But I think there have been more questions than answers for Eddie Jones, and that’s the key.”
Dallaglio was speaking to City A.M. ahead of his RugbyWorks charity event next Thursday at Boisdale Canary Wharf. Hear more from Dallaglio in Friday’s newspaper. Tickets can be purchased here