England's slump continues after yesterday's 23-12 loss against South Africa and the pressure is increasing on head coach Eddie Jones.
After a heated post-match interview, Jones came out swinging and declared himself confident he is the right man for the job. However, former English international Stuart Barnes has questioned that in his Times article titled 'Intense Eddie Jones has to go – the players need a new voice.'
England are not so much zooming in on the World Cup as limping painfully towards ignominy. As I said at the start of this column, time for action. But by whom? Jones? He tells us that 25 players have been left behind. It would take an idiot to accept that at face value. This was pretty much a two-thirds strength England team...
Given that the RFU came out yesterday with a vote of confidence, Jones’s position as England coach has clearly crossed their mind. Six straight defeats and the shambles of Saturday’s second half require a full-scale RFU inquest.
England slumped to a fifth-place finish in the Six Nations and have continued to decline since then. Jones also found himself embroiled in considerable controversy along the way due to comments that surfaced just prior to Ireland's Grand Slam decider. In the aftermath, RFU chief executive Steve Brown said they were unhappy with the performance: "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."
Yesterday was their sixth consecutive loss, five of which were test games. Barnes feels Jones is no longer registering with the current squad: "It appears that a new voice is needed. Just as Jones offered one to England post-Lancaster. The biggest risk is to take no risk."
The series is now over for Jones, but he does have one last chance to end the season on a higher note with the last test next Saturday.