England’s World Cup-winning coach, Clive Woodward, has claimed that Eddie Jones is getting an easy ride from the RFU as nobody is brave enough to question his decisions or tactics.
England began their Six Nations campaign with a 20-17 loss to Scotland in Edinburgh, where Jones’ team let a seven-point second-half lead slip.
In his regular column for the Daily Mail, Woodward argued that Jones is currently in a comfort zone and hard enough questions are not being asked about the Australian’s decisions.
“There is nobody at Twickenham qualified to hold Eddie Jones to account in the rugby sense, he clearly has them all in his pocket. He can’t be questioned, which is a massive weakness,” Woodward wrote.
“When he made a mess of the Six Nations last year, the RFU apparently held a cosy little inquest with a collection of ‘rugby experts’, which was in itself an acknowledgement there was no one at Twickenham willing to question Jones.
“The report concluded England needed to get a ref involved at training to stem the flow of penalties and more involvement from sports psychologists might be beneficial!
“We weren’t allowed to know the identities of these experts and their qualifications to question what a high performing coaching set-up looks like, never mind running the rule over Jones and his decisions.
“In the absence of anybody from above questioning Jones, will the England senior players demand a few words with Eddie on Monday?
“The likes of Owen Farrell, if he’s in camp, Maro Itoje, Ben Youngs and increasingly Tom Curry. This is their team, they must take ownership. And those senior players should also admit to Eddie that they got things wrong as well. An adult conversation is badly needed.”
Woodward went on to pose six critical questions for Jones in the article.
These included why Jones chose to bill England as the underdogs going into Saturday’s match and why he deflected attention after the match by questioning the referee’s decisions.
Woodward also asked why Jones chose to substitute Marcus Smith for George Ford in the second half, just after the young flyhalf had scored a try and kicked a penalty to give England the lead.
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