Eddie honoured by England extension

Eddie Jones wants to make England the greatest team in the world after agreeing to a new contract running to the end of the 2023 World Cup in France.

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The two-time Six Nations-winning coach has finally signed a new deal and immediately set some high expectiations.

Jones’ England record stands at 78% with 42 wins from 54 matches.

His tenure includes two Six Nations titles including a Grand Slam in 2016, a 3-0 away Test series win against Australia in the same year, an unbeaten run of 18 matches equalling New Zealand’s record and being finalists at last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

‘The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a difficult time the world is facing. We are all looking forward to a time when we can get back to playing rugby and use the sport as a force for good in bringing people back together,’ said Jones.

The Australia-born coach has been in the role since 2015 but his future with the RFU has been unclear with much speculation throughout 2019. That was quelled somewhat by his side’s brilliant dismantling of the All Blacks in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, but reignited following a slow start to this year’s Six Nations campaign.

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‘I never thought coming here four years ago I would be doing a second four years, but the circumstances are right. Obviously it is important for the team that we keep improving and my focus will be solely on that.

‘I am excited about raising the standards again. We have a great team. We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes. Now we want to be the team that is remembered as being the greatest team the game has ever seen. It’s a big ambition but I believe we are capable of doing it.

‘We have players with an enhanced reputation, we have a team that is expected to do well, so it’s a great opportunity for us to keep moving forward.’

RFU CEO Bill Sweeney pointed to Jones’ record as one of the best in the game and the progress shown by England since 2015, including bringing through a stream of youngsters.

‘We are all excited by what this squad can do and having Eddie leading the team is very important to us.  We reached an understanding soon after returning from Japan but there were some things that we wanted to make sure worked for both sides,’ said Sweeney.

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