Jones to remain England coach until 2023

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Eddie Jones will remain England coach until the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the RFU confirmed on Thursday night.

Jones took over as coach after the 2015 Rugby World Cup and his new extension will make him England's longest-serving coach, ahead of 2003 World Cup winner Clive Woodward.

The RFU confirmed on Thursday night (AEDT) that Jones had agreed to the two-year deal, just days after confirmation tht Jones and the RFU executive would take pay cuts of more than 25 per cent.

In a statement, Jones said the news was a "great honour".

"The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a difficult time the world is facing.," he said.

"We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for good in bringing people back together.

"I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years but the circumstances are right. Obviously it is important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be solely on that."

Eddie Jones has re-signed as England coach. Photo: Getty ImagesWith a 78 per cent winning record, Jones is already England's most successful coach but said he wanted to continue to lift the bar.

“I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team," he said.

"We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes. Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest team the game has ever seen. It’s a big ambition but I believe we are capable of doing it. We have players with an enhanced reputation, we have a team that is expected to do well, so it’s a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward.”

RFU CEO Bill Sweeney said Jones's committment was positive news in a difficult time for the game.

“My thoughts and those of all of us at the RFU are with everyone impacted by COVID-19, both across the country at large but also within our own rugby union community. In exceptionally difficult times, we are pleased to be sharing some good news," he said.

"We are delighted that Eddie will continue as head coach to run England’s campaign to take us to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

"His record since joining speaks for itself and he has proven why he is one of the best coaches in world rugby.

"The progress shown by England since 2015 has been indisputable and having fielded the youngest-ever team to play in a World Cup final, we know even more growth is possible. We are all excited by what this squad can do and having Eddie leading the team is very important to us."

Sweeney said plans for an extension came about after the 2019 Rugby World Cup but there were details that needed to be ironed out.

“We reached an understanding soon after returning from Japan but there were some things that we wanted to make sure worked for both sides," he said.

"We have announced Eddie’s contract extension a few weeks later than planned as our focus was diverted to support the English rugby community during this difficult time, we are now turning our attention to developing plans to support the rebooting of rugby and a winning England team will provide a vital role in that.”