Jones declared off limits
ENGLAND have warned Australia off “sniffing around” coach Eddie Jones by confirming he will remain with them until at least 2021, and possibly beyond, on the back of his performance at the Rugby World Cup.
Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney wants the Australian mentor to see out his contract and hinted at the prospect of a new deal being agreed that will keep him in charge for France 2023.
England were overrun 32-12 by South Africa in Saturday’s World Cup final but dismantled Australia and New Zealand en route to reaching the Yokohama showpiece.
Jones has also masterminded one grand slam and a Six Nations title since replacing Stuart Lancaster at the end of 2015 and Sweeney still views him as the outstanding candidate for the job.
“Eddie’s one of the world’s best coaches, if not the best, despite the result against South Africa,” Sweeney said.
“One of the first priorities when we get back will be to sit down and have a chat.
“We will do it as a matter of urgency.
“Eddie is committed to his contract through to the end of August 2021 and he is fulfilling that.
“There are a lot of emotions flying around after a game so let the dust settle a little bit and then see where his head’s at, see how he feels about it.
“But the first step is to honour that contract through to 2021 and then we’ll discuss what goes on beyond that.”
When asked about the wisdom of appointing a coach for an entire World Cup cycle rather than for a two-year spell, Sweeney said: “It makes sense doesn’t it? If you’re going to go through to France 2023 it’s nice to have that unbroken stretch, but both parties have got to be completely happy with it.”