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Eddie Jones: England head coach under pressure as RFU begins review into disappointing Six Nations campaign

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England’s 32-18 defeat by Ireland on Saturday saw them finish fifth in this year’s Six Nations; Eddie Jones’ contract runs until the 2023 World Cup, but the RFU can exercise a break clause in the deal; CEO Bill Sweeney to lead review into England’s disappointing campaign

Eddie Jones could only lead England to a fifth-place finish in the Six Nations

Eddie Jones could only lead England to a fifth-place finish in the Six Nations

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) will begin its review into England’s Six Nations campaign on Monday, with head coach Eddie Jones under pressure after his side’s fifth-place finish.

The RFU’s review is standard practice following each tournament but will take on added importance this year after England lost three of their five matches.

Their results have led to question marks over the future of Jones, who replaced Stuart Lancaster in 2015.

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The 61-year-old Australian signed a contract extension less than a year ago, meaning his deal runs until the 2023 World Cup. However, it does contain a release clause that can be triggered by the RFU.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney will lead the review into England’s Six Nations campaign and will begin by meeting with Jones on Monday.

RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney is a supporter of Jones RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney is a supporter of Jones

Sweeney will conduct a number of other meetings over the coming weeks as part of the review before deciding whether to activate the break clause in Jones’ contract.

Sweeney is a strong supporter of Jones but will no doubt seek an explanation for England’s results in the Six Nations, which included defeats to Scotland, Wales and Ireland in the same campaign for the first time since 1976.

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Jones oversaw another fifth-place finish in the Six Nations in 2018. However, 18 months later he led England to the World Cup final.

Following England’s 32-18 defeat in Dublin on Saturday that concluded their miserable campaign, Jones insisted he was “100 per cent” confident he was still the right man to lead England towards the 2023 World Cup.

However, the former Australia and Japan boss did admit that the decision over his future was “for other people to answer”.

Ireland humbled England with a comfortable 32-18 win in Dublin on Saturday Ireland humbled England with a comfortable 32-18 win in Dublin on Saturday

Itoje: Blame players, not Jones

Maro Itoje insists England’s players and not Jones must be held accountable for their poor Six Nations performance, saying: “Eddie is a fantastic coach.

“He’s one of the best coaches I’ve worked with. His work-rate, his knowledge, his feeling with the players, the way he goes about his business are genuinely second to none.

“As players, we need to be accountable for our behaviours. At the end of the day, Eddie can’t play the game for us.

“The players need to be accountable and if you ask any player who has been under Eddie, I doubt anyone will say differently. He’s a truly special coach.

“As players we need to grab hold of it and take ownership of our actions. We’re disappointed because we know that, as a team, we’re capable of so much more.

“It’s just on us. I don’t have any excuses here – we just weren’t good enough. We’re a team that can do so much more, but we didn’t show that.”

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