By Chris Jones
BBC rugby union reporter
Eddie Jones has agreed an agreement extension to coach England through to the Rugby World Cup in France in 2023.
The 60- year-old’s present agreement was due to expire in August 2021, but he had actually been set for a brand-new deal because leading England to the World Cup final in 2015.
Jones has a 78%win ratio considering that taking the role at the end of 2015.
” We have a fantastic group and I am delighted about raising the standards again,” Jones stated.
The timing of the announcement can be found in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, with lots of at the RFU and in the broader rugby community fearing for their futures.
” My ideas and those of everybody at the RFU are with everyone impacted by Covid-19, both throughout the country at large however also within our own rugby union neighborhood. In remarkably difficult times, we are delighted to be sharing some excellent news,” said RFU chief executive Costs Sweeney.
Jones included: “The extension is a fantastic honour for me, however in the existing environment, it is only best to acknowledge what a challenging time the world is facing. We are all eagerly anticipating a time when we can return to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for great in bringing people back together.”
Jones was selected in December 2015, changing Stuart Lancaster after a frustrating house World Cup that fall.
He led England to a record-equalling unbeaten run, which included a Grand Slam in 2016 and a Six Nations title the year after.
The group’s form plunged in 2018, but Jones detained the slide before the World Cup in Japan.
There, exceptional triumphes over Australia in the quarter-finals and New Zealand in the semi-finals established Jones’ men as favourites to beat South Africa in the last, however an inspired Springboks performance condemned an under-par England to a 32-12 defeat.
Concerns over the impact of that loss in the last were intensified when England were beaten by France in Paris in their 2020 6 Countries opener, however they rallied with success versus Scotland, Ireland and Wales to seal the Triple Crown prior to the Champion was reduced due to the fact that of the coronavirus pandemic.
” We set out 4 years ago to be the best group worldwide and sadly we missed out on that by 80 minutes,” Jones said on Thursday.
” Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest group the game has ever seen. It’s a big ambition but I think we are capable of doing it.”
If Jones does lead England through to France in 2023, he will eclipse World Cup winner Sir Clive Woodward as the country’s longest-serving employer.
Jones’ win record puts him together with Woodward as one of England’s greatest ever coaches, but succeeding RFU chiefs have had to reprimand him over his conduct.
Following the win over Wales at the start of March, the RFU apologised on Jones’ behalf after he recommended referee Ben O’Keefe was biased in his decision-making.
However Sweeney is plainly comfy that the periodic debate that surrounds Jones is a fair exchange for re-establishing England as a leading force in the international game.
” We reached an understanding not long after returning from Japan but there were some things that we wished to ensure worked for both sides,” Sweeney added.
” We have actually announced Eddie’s agreement extension a few weeks later than planned as our focus was diverted to support the English rugby community during this challenging time. We are now turning our attention to developing plans to support the rebooting of rugby and a winning England group will supply a crucial role because.”
England are third on the planet Rugby rankings, behind South Africa and New Zealand.
Last month, Jones signed up with members of the RFU executive board in taking a pay decrease in excess of 25%, primarily in the kind of forgone rewards, as an action to the monetary impact of Covid-19