Eddie Jones gets RFU backing after Six Nations review

England finished fifth in the 2021 Six Nations tournament
England finished fifth in the 2021 Six Nations tournament

The Rugby Football Union has come in support of England coach Eddie Jones following a review on the team's performance in the recently concluded Six Nations tournament.

The red rose team lost matches against Ireland, Wales and Scotland in the competition for the first time in 45 years and had to finish fifth in the table forcing the RFU to launch a review.

The panel consisted of RFU board members, executives and independent experts while feedback from players, coaches (past and present) and support staff were taken into account.

“We were all disappointed to finish fifth in the Guinness Six Nations," said RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney.

"Our track record and results under Eddie meant that we, the players and our fans had much higher expectations. Sport is all about fine margins which is why every campaign debrief is invaluable in helping us to learn and improve.

"Eddie approached this review with a great deal of self-awareness and humility, allowing us to look at every aspect of the tournament to identify every small change we can make in order to improve.”

Jones agreed that the team's performance during the recently concluded Six Nations was "not to usual standards" but is confident of a turnaround as they look to build towards the 2023 World Cup.

"During the Six Nations we were not up to our usual high standards and we recognise that," Jones said.

"The debrief was a valuable process, we all learned a lot from the experience and most importantly we have identified actions to enable the team to move forward positively towards 2023.

"I'm looking forward to the summer tour which will provide a great opportunity to see more of our emerging talent.

"I'm confident our next team will come back stronger this autumn building up to a winning performance in the next Six Nations."

The RFU also added that several recommendations will be implemented before the July Test matches against the United States and Canada, which are currently under review.

These are as follows..

  • Introduction of additional support structures for coaches and players including enhanced sports psychology and programmatic leadership development starting in the pathway.
  • Additional refereeing input to provide technique improvement and awareness during player preparation and development.
  • The use of data and analytics in high performance and campaign management is increasing and to support this approach, England Rugby will continue to work with Premiership Rugby with the objective of identifying and introducing one common data system across the pathway and elite performance game, this will be vital to monitoring and developing emerging talent in the pathway as well as being an additional tool to manage player welfare.
  • The RFU will ensure external rugby experts inform all future debriefs to provide additional insight and support for the Head Coach. These external advisors will also be utilised after each campaign to provide regular reviews and support for the coaching strategy for future Six Nations campaigns and in the build up to Rugby World Cup 2023.
  • To evolve its strategic approach to the game, the RFU aims to deepen its alignment between England Rugby performance and professional clubs. This will start with a proposed summer conference for England Rugby, professional clubs, referees and medics to find common ground and goals for the English game moving forward. Discussion points will include the increasing speed of the game, decision making, data and analytics, refereeing, player development and welfare.