The year has not been kind to Eddie Jones and his England team. Relinquishing another early lead in yesterday's 23-12 defeat to South Africa in Bloemfontein, a side that had not too long ago looked in great shape ahead of next year's World Cup, are now
Six losses on the bounce, the latest of these confirmed an uninspiring series defeat to the Springboks with one game yet to play. After scrum-half Ben Youngs delivered a terse response to questions regarding what England are now to do, Jones was no less tetchy in his post-match interview with the BBC.
Describing his England side like 'an old car at the moment; fix one thing and another thing breaks,' the brief sense of joviality didn't last long. Interviewer Chris Jones did admittedly ask some pointed questions of the England head coach however:
Chris Jones: Is this a blip, or is this more serious Eddie? How concerned should England fans be?
Eddie Jones: I think very concerned, but, unfortunately we've got to go through this to get to another level, and we'll get through this and go to that other level.
CJ: But how are you going to turn it around?
EJ: Through hard work, through good thoughts and through good planning, we'll turn it around.
CJ: So hard work is the key? It's not the personnel, it's not the coaching?
EJ: Well, I can't change the personnel mate, I can only select who I can select ... these are the best players we've got and I'm happy to work with these players.
CJ: You've got one of the biggest pools of players in World rugby and I'm not sure other countries would take unavailability as an excuse?
EJ: I'm not using it as an excuse. There's 25 players unavailable, and I'm working with what I've got.
Continuing to probe at the head coach's defenses, the BBC interviewer wasn't long pulling a less tactful response from Eddie Jones:
Chris Jones: For you personally Eddie, it's the first time with this England team that you've been under this kind of pressure, how confident are you that you can turn it around come the Autumn?
Eddie Jones: Oh 100% confident ... 100% as you are aggressive.
CJ: I'm just asking you questions Eddie after a series defeat ...
EJ: Just your nature, it's very aggressive mate.
CJ: That's not the plan Eddie, I'm just trying to ask the questions the fans might want to hear at home.
EJ: Oh that's fine, I'm happy to answer that aggressive questioning.
CJ: Which one was aggressive especially?
EJ: Just your manner in how you're talking to me.
Going on to accuse the England head coach of being 'aggressive himself' on occasion, Eddie Jones proceeded to rehash the same answers he had initially given, mixed in with the odd barb thrown in.
You can listen to the whole of that interview here.