England coach Eddie Jones has defended his substitution strategy after coming in for heavy criticism for the changes he made during the opening Six Nations loss to Scotland.
Jones came under fire for his substitutions in the second half of the Test in Edinburgh, in particular replacing Marcus Smith, who had scored all of England’s 17 points, with George Ford.
Two former England coaches, Clive Woodward and Martin Johnson, questioned why Jones would take Smith off at a key stage of the match.
However, Jones defended his tactics and accused his critics of having a hindsight bias.
“Everybody has got a judgement but I have been a television commentator and I was the smartest coach in the world, I got everything right,” Jones told the Telegraph.
“And it is easy, with the hindsight of replays, to get everything right. I don’t have any regrets about what happened on Saturday in terms of the replacements we made.”
Jones went into further detail about his four-point checklist for making substitutions.
“What we try to do is to assess the momentum in the game and assess whether we can make some changes to add to the momentum of the game or change the momentum of the game,” Jones said. “So, that’s one thing.
“Secondly, we look at the major contests in the game. Where are we winning? Where can we add to that? And if we’re not winning, what are the contests we need to start winning, to win the game?
“Thirdly, you are looking at the performance of the player who started not only in terms of his skill, but also in terms of his physical capacity. And the sort of game it is, whether it’s a higher running game, a slightly slower game with a lot of breaks.
“And then we’re looking at the form of the finishers. How impressive had they been during the week? Can they add to this situation? So, we weigh up all those four things.”
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