Ireland's Six Nations triumph also saw England's failure as Eddie Jones side slumped to a fifth-place finish. Jones also found himself embroiled in considerable controversy along the way due to comments that surfaced just prior to Ireland's Grand Slam decider.
Today Jones the RFU and Professional Game Board as English rugby launched its investigation into where it all went wrong. Sitting in on those meetings was RFU chief executive Steve Brown, who told the Guardian he stands by Jones despite being bitterly disappointed with the overall performance.
Eddie and his coaches have my confidence and the measure of how good they are and can be will be how they respond to these tough times. The results in the Six Nations were not what we wanted, not what we expected and there is no attempt by us to dress this up. We wanted to do significantly better and we didn’t. We’re disappointed with the decline, no question about that. Nobody would want to go from winning the Six Nations to fifth.
We will learn from this and make sure it doesn’t happen again. No one is patting each other on the back, they’re looking for solutions to put us back to where we were before. We were motoring pretty well. We have hit a bit of a bump and now is the time to regroup, reassess and get back on track.
Brown urged some calm among the British press after a week of strong criticism: 'It’s worth reflecting that Eddie has an 86% win record with England. You don’t become a bad coach or team overnight.'
In his recent Irish Times column, Gordon D'arcy suggested English rugby may be suffering due to the lack of central contracts and the number of foreign players in their league, but Brown confirmed he is happy with the RFU's "hybrid" version.
For Eddie Jones, attention now turns to South Africa and the three test tour coming this summer.