Clive Woodward has labelled the Rugby Football Union’s debrief of England’s poor Six Nations campaign as a ‘nonsensical whitewash of excuse-making, box-ticking and corporate twaddle’.
England finished fifth in the Six Nations for the second time under Jones, which led the RFU to conduct an investigation into why the World Cup runners-up and defending Six Nations champions had performed so poorly.
Reports from England at the time suggested that a clause in Jones’ contract could allow the RFU to part ways with him, even though he is one of the highest-paid coaches in the world.
However, the RFU’s review – which included feedback from players, coaches (past and present) and support staff as well as detailed presentations from Jones himself – concluded that he should remain in his role as head coach.
Following the release of the RFU’s findings, Woodward wrote a scathing column in the Daily Mail, stating that it is bizarre that Jones was subjected to an investigation in the first place and it is scandalous that nobody is willing to have their name attached to this review.
‘Talk about a good week to bury bad news – or, in this case, a meaningless Six Nations debrief. While football’s European Super League scandal raged, the RFU slipped out their review of the miserably poor Six Nations campaign in which England, for the second time in four years, finished fifth,’ Woodward wrote.
‘Firstly, note that not one person is willing to have their name attached to this review. That is scandalous. We need to know the identity and qualifications of those at the RFU passing judgment and assessing a man who has twice taken sides to the World Cup final and was also involved in South Africa’s 2007 triumph.
‘Eddie remaining as coach was a given – and rightly so.
‘The more I think about this, the more bizarre it seems. He might not be in a position of strength after recent results but I am absolutely staggered that Jones has accepted this nonsense.
‘As with every panel the RFU have assembled over the last decade, I would question their qualifications. It will be hard enough to find one person with the right knowledge and character to assess and challenge a coach of Eddie’s experience, let alone a panel of them.
‘As I have stated many times, I do not like post-tournament reviews because they are either destructive, knee-jerk reactions or whitewashes. This one has managed to be both. It’s a cringe-worthy exercise in box-ticking, excuse-making and corporate twaddle by those who no doubt think they could coach a team like England but have neither the talent nor the bottle.
‘It is so wrong that Jones will have no place to hide while those on the panel presiding over him enjoy anonymity and therefore no repercussions for their decisions.’
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