It was Sweeney himself who called England’s fifth place – their worst joint ever, and Jones’ worst too – in the 2021 Six Nations as “unacceptable” and, as the vultures turn around from the head of the Australian, the former players and coaches lined up to claim his lead. Jones’ contract technically ends until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup and, with this tournament in over two years, any potential replacement would still have plenty of time to develop the squad to their liking.
It’s also worth saying that Jones’ status as rugby’s highest paid coach won’t stop the cash-strapped RFU from parting ways with the Australian. Sport Telegraph revealed on Sunday that a clause existed in his current deal that could see him sacked following their sudden loss of form. Insiders have said it will not involve a costly payment due to the terms of the deal, despite his lucrative salary exceeding £ 550,000 per year as a result of his post-Covid pay cut.
When asked if he was the right man to take England forward, Jones said: “That’s not the question at the moment. The question at the moment is that we need to play better. It’s for other people to answer, not for me to answer.
“No one is more disappointed than the team and ourselves with what happened today and the fans have a right to be disappointed. Well you know it’s not [acceptable]. You know not. We are disappointed, very disappointed. ”
RFU sources have indicated that a knee-jerk reaction would be avoided, but let’s see what Sweeney has to add today.