Rugby Australia has today locked in the Wallabies fixtures for the upcoming Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship series, with the all games so far scheduled to take place in Australia and New Zealand.
All Blacks star Beauden Barrett is benefiting from Eddie Jones’ surprise appearance as a consultant for Suntory Goliath amid the England coach’s own woes.
Eddie Jones has received the backing of one of rugby’s biggest superstars after escaping the sack as England coach at the end of a disastrous Six Nations campaign.
New Zealand’s two-time world player of the year Beauden Barrett agrees Jones remains the best man to lead England out of the doldrums.
Barrett has benefited from the former Wallabies coach’s holiday stint advising Suntory Goliath in the Japanese Top League.
Jones, who has been a consultant for Suntory for almost 20 years, is using annual leave for his latest trip to Japan, and star fly-half Barrett hangs off his every word.
“He’s more in the background dealing with the coaches a lot but certainly when he does offer advice to the players, it’s really good advice,” Barrett said on a call from Tokyo.
“It’s nice to hear from someone who’s not there on a daily (basis) who’s outside looking over the top of things and it’s good information that he gives.
“With my dealings, he’s been so good for me. When he does have something to tell me, they’re like little pieces of gold. His understanding of the game is exceptional.”
The All Blacks playmaker has no doubt Jones can return England to its former position as one of the game’s superpowers.
“They’ve got the talent there. I’m sure they’ll work it out,” he said.
“They figured it out against us in the (2019 World Cup) semi-final.
“I guess he’s copping a bit at the moment but I’m confident he’ll turn things around there.”
The RFU last week said Jones retained the union’s “full support” following a full review of England’s worst finish in 45 years.
That was despite chief executive Bill Sweeney previously refusing to rule out activating a break clause in the Australian’s contract.
The RFU allowed Jones’ trip to Japan, but is demanding England’s results improve after stopping short of backing him through to the 2023 World Cup in France.
The review revealed that overall feedback from the players was positive but insisted that the fifth-place Six Nations finish was well below expectations.
“We were all disappointed to finish fifth in the Six Nations,” Sweeney said.
“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.”