Ageing England are not producing quality players, claims former head coach Eddie Jones as the Australia boss launches scathing attack on his former employer
Aging England not producing quality players, former head coach Eddie Jones claims as Australian boss launches devastating attack on his former employer
Eddie Jones has criticized the RFU for the England team’s appalling performance.
The Australian was sacked as England head coach in December and replaced by Steve Borthwick, who has so far failed to reverse his fortunes.
Borthwick’s team arrived in France for the World Cup this week with just three wins out of nine and Jones believes the finger should be pointed at Bill Sweeney and Conor O’Shea in the boardroom.
“England don’t produce quality players,” he told the Today programme. “Everyone says, ‘Let’s blame the head coach,’ but the responsibility for producing quality players rests with the RFU.
‘You have to look at why you’re not putting forward talent. Then you have to look at why your talent development systems are not doing that.
Eddie Jones has laid the blame for England’s poor form firmly on the RFU
England suffered its first-ever defeat against Fiji on Saturday, but such a shock had been years overdue
England are in the middle of abysmal form – winning just one in six – and losing to Fiji this weekend
“The system is wrong. What needs to change? Where’s the gap? That is the responsibility of the RFU.’
Jones won just five of 12 games in 2022, his last year in charge of England.
In 2019, he took them to the World Cup final where they were beaten by South Africa before the results fell off a cliff.
Jones described England as an ‘aging team’, adding: ‘Anyone who knows anything about sport can see that.
“New players are coming in. Some of them have come through and done really well, like Freddie Steward. Others are still looking for their turn, like Marcus Smith.’
With their World Cup opening game against Argentina a week away, there was a worrying list of absentees from Friday’s England training session.
Elliot Daly, George Martin, Kyle Sinckler and Tom Curry skipped team practice, while Billy Vunipola and Owen Farrell are suspended.
Manu Tuilagi trained independently as part of his load management.
Fiji deserve credit for the way they played against England as the better team won that day
A sparse crowd at Twickenham on Saturday gave the unselected England players legroom
Jones says his successor Steve Borthwick should not be blamed for the terrible run
Jones, who has yet to win a game with Australia, stressed that the best is yet to come from his new team.
“Nobody thinks we can win, and that’s a great situation to be in. When I look at all the teams at the World Cup, most of them are at the end of their cycle.
“Look at the Irish team: a very good team, but many players are at the end of their careers. New Zealand is the same and South Africa to a greater extent.’
Host country France has been dealt another blow after Paul Willemse withdrew from the World Cup with a thigh injury.