England head coach Eddie Jones has confirmed that he will be stepping down from his role after the 2023 World Cup in France.
Jones was snapped up by the RFU back in 2016, after he had coached Japan in a successful 2015 World Cup campaign and initially signed on to join the Stormers in Cape Town.
Since then, Jones has coached England to three Six Nations championships and one Grand Slam, taking the team through to the World Cup final in 2019.
In January 2018, the Australian signed an initial contract extension until 2021, but subsequently agreed in April to coach England until the end of the 2023 World Cup. This will make him England’s longest-serving head coach.
After naming a new-look 45-man training squad, Jones was asked whether he would be closing the chapter with England after the World Cup.
“100% and it’s the last chapter for me, the last two years,” Jones answered.
“So, I have never been so excited in my life and the squad we have assembled is just the start.
“We’ve got five campaigns [before the World Cup] and each time we pick the squad we want it to be a bit stronger. After the Lions tour, you draw a bit of a line in the sand because then you’re in the last two years before the World Cup and everything you do counts.”
A number of senior players including George Ford, Billy and Mako Vunipola and Jamie George – who have 276 Test caps between them – were omitted from the training squad.
However, Owen Farrell kept his place in the team, despite a slump in form, which Jones accredited to Saracens’ relegation from the Premiership and Covid-19.
“All I am worried about is getting Owen back to his best,” Jones said. “He has not been at his best over the last period of time but I am convinced that we can get him back to his best and then we will decide the leadership of the team. At this stage there is no reason why he won’t be captain.
“This has been a difficult period for the players. Some players have reacted well and some players haven’t. For some players we have decided to give them a rest and for others they need to get back in and stoke the fires. I have got no doubt that Owen will be back to his best by the autumn.”
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