Bakkies backs Jones’s England gig

Former Springbok lock Bakkies Botha believes coach Eddie Jones will put England rugby back on an upward curve.

Jones has agreed terms to take on the England top job after concluding talks on Thursday night, with the Stormers confirming on Friday that the former Wallabies coach will be leaving just one week into his three-year deal.

Botha, who worked with Jones when he acted as a coaching consultant to the Boks during the 2007 World Cup, said the arrival of Jones would be a major coup for England.

'Eddie is a phenomenal coach and I learned a lot from him in a short space of time in 2007,' Jones told Sky Sports. 'He played a bigger part in that success than many people thought he did, he brought a lot of calmness into the coaching team when he worked with Jake White. Wherever he goes, Eddie leaves his imprint and for me, I truly believe England can't go wrong by getting him in.'

Australian captain Stephen Moore agreed that the former Wallabies coach would add a lot to the England set-up.

'My memories of Eddie are that he was very professional, very thorough. He knows what it takes to win, he'll be excited by the opportunity, resources and depth of talent in England rugby. There's a huge amount for him to work with, he won't leave any stone unturned. He'll know what he needs to be successful and will be confident that he can do a good job.'

Former All Blacks coach John Mitchell has said he would be interested in taking on the Stormers job, but added the offer would need to be the right one.

'Four years is important, but more than the duration, it also has to be right. It’s not a place where you want to be tolerated, you want to be loved and enjoyed,' he told the Cape Argus. 'I’ve had my successes and failures but I’ve always brought a style of rugby that’s attractive and lends itself to scoring more tries. I understand how to implement that with balance, and I understand South Africa better than most [foreign coaches].'

Photo: BackpagePix

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Craig Lewis