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Eddie Jones under the cosh from critics

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21st March, 2021
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Lawrence Dallaglio has demanded that England make changes to their coaching team and playing squad in response to an “unacceptable” Six Nations Championship from Eddie Jones’ men.

Sir Clive Woodward has also insisted that his old Australian coaching foe Jones should face a vigorous Rugby Football Union inquest after the championship performances had exposed “something very wrong” with England.

Jones has received support from his team after their dismal season-ending defeat by Ireland in Dublin on Saturday, with Maro Itoje saying that the players should take the blame, not their “truly special coach”.

Yet the 61-year-old Jones, whose side’s fortunes have plummeted since they reached the World Cup final in Japan in November 2019, finds himself undergoing the harshest criticism he’s faced since taking the England job.

Their descent from European champions to a fifth-place finish was confirmed by the 32-18 collapse against Ireland.

Dallaglio, a former red rose captain and 2003 World Cup winner, believes Jones must act decisively to engineer an exit from the current slump.

“Eddie is in his sixth year with England. He has done some very, very good things,” Dallaglio told BT Sport.

“England have won three of the last six Six Nations campaigns. They got to a World Cup final (in 2019) and were well beaten in that.

“Finishing fifth, losing to Wales, Scotland and Ireland is unacceptable for England. Things have to change.

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“If Eddie Jones isn’t going to change, if he’s not going to be removed as head coach, then he needs to bring in some fresh faces on both the playing side and the coaching side.

“You can argue the team needs freshening up in terms of selection. England have gone backwards over the last six months and he needs to address that, he’s the head coach.”

Former red rose wing Ugo Monye has also called for a “brand new philosophy” to be introduced.

Woodward, the 2003 World Cup-winning coach, said in his column in the Mail on Sunday: “It’s time for Eddie Jones to look in the mirror, not the window.

“Somebody at the RFU – although I’m not sure who is qualified to do so – needs to ask some sharp questions of him. There is no respected rugby ‘brain’ asking the difficult questions.

“I would like to say I was surprised but deep down I’m not. I had hoped last week was a fresh start but there is something very wrong at present.

“The graph has been going steadily downwards since that World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand with just an occasional blip or pulse of hope.”

World Cup-winning England halfback Matt Dawson also urged Jones to stop looking for excuses.

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“It is unacceptable that they lost three games in the Six Nations,” Dawson told the BBC.

“I know Eddie Jones will come up with excuses and say England cannot play like that every week.

“I think England have got to work it out themselves and it comes from the top. My concern is that it is not as joined up as we are all led to believe.”

© AAP