Sir Clive Woodward criticises the timing of Eddie Jones' contract extension

Eddie Jones has signed a contract extension until 2023 World Cup
Eddie Jones has signed a contract extension until 2023 World Cup

England's World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward has slammed the Rugby Football Union's timing over the announcement of Eddie Jones' contract extension.

Jones joined England as head coach post 2015 World Cup and after guiding them to the final of the showpiece event in Japan last year, and signed a contract extension last week until the 2023 World Cup in France.

Woodward, who guided England to 2003 World Cup triumph said there was no need for RFU to rush into Jones' extension when the game is battling out the financial instability caused by the pandemic coronavirus considering the Australian was already contracted until 2021.

“Everything seemed rushed and cosy to me,” he said.

He also expressed concern whether there was anyone within the RFU capable of asking Jones the really tough questions and properly scrutinising his decisions.

“It [the extension] came just as the coronavirus crisis was kicking in and the financial implications for grassroots rugby were becoming apparent. It did not sit at all well. With the game in lockdown, I don’t understand the timing,” outlined Woodward.

“Announcing that Eddie is to become the best-paid coach in history while other nations and clubs are on the verge of bankruptcy seemed insensitive, at best… that was a story that didn’t play out well in the current climate.”

Woodward also questioned the England board on why there was no postmortem conducted on England's World Cup final lost to South Africa last year in Japan.

“Was there analysis at the RFU as to why they played so poorly in the final or why they went to Japan with only two scrum-halves and five props?” he asked.

“Why was Joe Marler allowed to make a mockery of the press conference I attended in that final week? Who were the rugby celebrities coming and going from the camp and why did the team arrive at the stadium just 40 minutes before kick-off?”

England Fixtures