We may only be coming off the back of the first weekend of the 2022 Six Nations, but Eddie Jones is already looking like he is in a precarious position.
In short, the England head coach made an absolute mess of their game against Scotland. He made a number of questionable substitutions at pivotal moments, most notably taking off Marcus Smith despite the out-half being the best player on the pitch up to that point.
When Luke Cowan Dickie was sent to the sin bin, he opted not to replace him with another hooker. The result was prop Joe Marler being forced to deliver the ball the the lineout.
In all it was a disastrous afternoon for Jones, who had already entered the tournament under plenty of pressure. Clive Woodward believes he needs to be held to account.
Clive Woodward slams Eddie Jones after loss in Six Nations opener
Writing in his column for Mail Sport, the former England and Lions head coach said that someone within the squad or RFU needs to stand up to the authority of Eddie Jones.
So why did Eddie Jones (take off Marcus Smith)? Will there be a no-holds-barred inquest at Pennyhill Park this morning? I suspect not.
There is nobody at Twickenham qualified to hold Eddie Jones to account in the rugby sense, he clearly has them all in his pocket. He can’t be questioned, which is a massive weakness.
When he made a mess of the Six Nations last year the RFU apparently held a cosy little inquest with a collection of ‘rugby experts’, which was in itself an acknowledgement there was no one at Twickenham willing to question Jones.
The report concluded England needed to get a ref involved at training to stem the flow of penalties and more involvement from sports psychologists might be beneficial!
We weren’t allowed to know the identities of these experts and their qualifications to question what a high performing coaching set-up looks like, never mind running the rule over Jones and his decisions.
In the absence of anybody from above questioning Jones, will the England senior players demand a few words with Eddie on Monday? The likes of Owen Farrell, if he’s in camp, Maro Itoje, Ben Youngs and increasingly Tom Curry.
This is their team, they must take ownership. And those senior players should also admit to Eddie that they got things wrong as well. An adult conversation is badly needed.
I’m not confident that any of this will take place.
England will be given the ideal opportunity to bounce back from this result, heading to Rome to take on Italy this weekend.
Another unconvincing performance in that one would really put Eddie Jones under the cosh.