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England 'desperate' for Eddie Jones project to work, but he's under pressure | Wednesday Night Rugby

Eddie Jones has had time to develop cohesion within his England squad and needs at least two good results this November.

Eddie Jones has had time to develop cohesion within his England squad and needs at least two good results this November to maintain his position, according to the BBC's Chris Jones.

England lost by a single point to Argentina in Twickenham on Saturday. It was the first match of England's Autumn Nation Series, against an Argentinian side that had played in the Rugby Championship a month earlier.

In the aftermath of the loss, the England coach admitted that his focus on the World Cup hindered his side's performance. However, there have been renewed discussions around Jones' own future in the wake of the loss.

England need two wins

Speaking on Wednesday Night Rugby, the BBC's rugby correspondent Chris Jones discussed where the England boss is a year out from the World Cup.

"If they'd lost that second test in Australia, it would have been awkward decision to be made for Twickenham," Jones said. "The plan is for Eddie Jones to go to 2023.

"Then the plan would be, almost certainly, for Steve Borthwick to take over. If they part with Eddie Jones now it would be incredibly embarrassing for the RFU given the faith they've put in Jones after the Six Nations in 2021 when England flopped, and the Six Nations this year where England also flopped.

"They put a statement out which was wildly ridiculed, saying lots of progress has been made."

England's rugby union have backed the Australian-born coach in spite of his side's struggles after losing to South Africa in the World Cup final.

However, Jones believes that if Eddie Jones' side fail to beat his former side, the Brave Blossoms, at the weekend, then things might get awkward again in Rugby HQ.

"Make no mistake," Jones added, "the RFU are desperate for this Eddie Jones 2023 project to work. If they lose to Japan at the weekend, Jones' position is untenable. I wouldn't dwell on that too much because that's unlikely.

"I think England will beat Japan and I think they can take the scalp of either New Zealand or South Africa. The frustration is just the lack of consistency and progress. Poor in the Six Nations, better in Australia, poor again against Argentina."

Jones had the opportunity to keep consistency

One of the reasons being bandied about the English camp for the loss against Argentina was a lack of cohesion caused by a lack of time with all of the players.

However, Chris Jones feels this reasoning rings hollow when examined under some scrutiny.

"Eddie Jones has had England for a long, long time," Jones said. "He's had plenty of opportunities to keep a cohesive core. No one has really retired on Eddie Jones' watch.

"Guys like [Dylan] Hartley, [James] Haskell and [Chris] Robshaw, he practically moved away from before they called it a day.

"He's still got a huge number of the players from 2019 at his disposal. Yes, there are problems in English rugby in terms of time together, but also steps he could have taken to ensure that consistency.

"England supporters are like, 'come on, let's not have this two steps forward, two steps back'."

Compared to their opponents, England had much more time to become cohesive ahead of their Autumn Nations opener.

"A lot of the Argentinian Premiership-based players were playing for their clubs last week, while England were tucked away in Jersey," Jones said.

"They didn't do an awful lot of training in Jersey, they did a lot of team-building. That's their prerogative. They chose to go out in the sea and do these activities in stead of hammering drills on the training park.

"Eddie Jones gets more access to his England players than any other England coach has had before him. I'm just not really feeling that seven years into a regime."


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