Rugby

ROG Ponders If England And Eddie Jones Have Reached The "Tipping Point"

ROG Ponders If England And Eddie Jones Have Reached The "Tipping Point"

The dredging up of an old clip has unmasked Great Value's Eddie Jones as an amateur corporate comedian, cracking jokes about the "scummy Irish" and his belief that Wales is a "shit place". While Mike Ross is among the myriad who believe that this whole farrago has been blown out of proportion, telling Balls yesterday that it is nothing more than the Internet Outrage of the Week.

What it has done is to further puncture the domineering public image of Jones, who was forced into a hasty apology by the RFU within hours of the "scummy Irish" clip firing around the internet. The previously bombastic Jones, who spoke openly about winning the World Cup and renamed his substitutes 'finishers' has a cut a far more humble public figure of late, following pitiful defeats to Scotland and France.

Writing in his ever-excellent column in the Irish Examiner, Ronan O'Gara accentuated an opinion of Jones that lingers in the Southern Hemisphere, from his time in charge of Australia, the Brumbies, and the Reds.

Jones, it seems, is regarded as a kind of Alan Pardew by the denizens of rugby in the South.

There's a theory down here about Eddie Jones, how he brings a massive bounce effect when he comes in as a head coach. 5am sessions, a great buzz, feel-good factor. But is it sustainable over a long period of time? And have we hit the tipping point already? Losing in Edinburgh to Scotland was a disappointment, and there was undoubtedly the honesty call in the meeting the following Monday. An opportunity to make a statement against France. That was the worrying bit: they were brutal in Paris last Saturday.

Do the stats bear that out? Do Jones' teams shine and burn out at a fairly rapid rate?

His record at the Brumbies read the opposite. Having made an exceptionally slow start, finishing tenth in the Super 12 in his first season. From there, however, he guided the club to runners-up both in the table and the final, and the following year, they won the title. Jones then stepped from this coronation platform to the Australia job.

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Jones took over after the successful Lions tour and led the Wallabies to the Tri-Nations in 2001, and to the final of their own World Cup in 2003.

From there, however, things went awry. They lost half of their subsequent Tri-Nations games and then lost seven straight games in 2005. Brief respite with a win in Dublin was followed by another defeat to Wales, after which Jones was sacked. His subsequent spell with the Queensland Reds was a disaster - lasting just one season in which the side won twice and finish bottom of the Super Rugby table.

There was a similarly precipitous decline at Saracens when Jones was in charge, and he left them ninth in the Premiership table upon leaving in 2009. His time at Japan was, of course, remarkably successful, and led to his being signed up by England.

There is, however, clear evidence from Jones' CV that backs up O'Gara's assertion.

Elsewhere, Warren Gatland has also added to the pressure on Jones ahead of the visit of Ireland. Gatland says that he takes no offence to the Wales jibe, but admits that England are under pressure.

Eddie makes a few comments. It's not offensive to us. I don't think the pressure for England is about the comments. The pressure for England is about winning on Saturday. That's the pressure they are under because they have to win on Saturday. That's how important that game is to them because potentially if they lose to Ireland, they then have three games against South Africa.

So they can go to a losing streak of two to a losing streak of six pretty quickly.

O'Gara's column in full can be read here.

See Also: World Rugby Drop Controversial Assistant Ref From England/Ireland

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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