Tuesday 6 December 2022

Eddie Jones: it was indeed time to go.

Sport's a tough business, and nobody has the right to stay at the top forever.  Despite his many achievements, with England and elsewhere, it was clearly time for Eddie Jones to go.  The autumn test series was indeed a test, and he failed.

Jones worked wonders with the disorganised and demoralised 2015 side (even if one suspects almost any new broom would have dusted them down).  The immediate Grand Slam, followed by an epic tour of Australia - I have never watched a defensive effort like England's in the Second Test - suggested he was doing more than just making a handful of much-needed changes.   His choice of captain, the 'mongrel' Dylan Hartley, seemed inspired.

So where did it go wrong, for such a thoughtful and successful coach?  

  1. Seems to me he's a tactician and not a strategist.  He plans carefully and successfully for particular games - for Australia, the semi final over New Zealand in 2003; for Japan, the extraordinary victory over South Africa; and for England the exceptional win over NZ in the 2019 semi final - a game he must have been working on from the moment the pools were announced several years before.  And then ... it was absolutely clear he had no equivalent gameplan for the final - a contingency just as foreseeable.  In fact, just like 2003 when Woodward's England beat him in the final.  (Clive Woodward: now there's a strategist.)
  2. Stubbornly 'keeping faith' with the wrong players, admirable though 'loyalty' may be.  Two examples (out of several I could list):  Farrell and Tuilagi.  I don't care what "warrior" attributes he possesses, Farrell is a liability at international level - directly and predictably responsible for England going out in the Pool stage in 2015.  He shouldn't have been in the squad, let alone the post-Hartley captain.  And Tuilagi's physical frailty (sounds like a crazy thing to say, but rugby aficionados will know what I mean) makes his formidable performances of ten years ago an irrelevance.
If England can get Borthwick to step in - and I presume this is primarily a matter of money - the squad is strong enough to mount a turnaround in time for the RWC.  And he's just the man to do it.  Thanks, Eddie, and farewell.



Anonymous said...

Maybe Wales can take Eddie and England take Warren?

dearieme said...

I played more rugby than I watched but even I can see that Farrell isn't an international fly-half. Nor is he an international centre.

I hope the new man can get the best out of young Smith: bags of promise there.

Scrobs. said...

This rather over-shadows my years as match secretary for my local Sussex club in the sixties...

By George, we were tough back then, slurping pints with the men from the shire clubs, and being totally ignored by the London bunch...

But we did have a Saracens/Middlesex player staying in our flat in Chelsea, so it wasn't all bad!

Anonymous said...

I found him graceless, thuggish and defensive. He put me off watching England and you always knew they would let you down.

He may be charming in person…..