Eddie Jones: RFU backs England's head coach despite talks on behaviour

RFU chief executive Steve Brown

The Rugby Football Union has backed head coach Eddie Jones to lead England in the 2019 World Cup but has held discussions about his recent behaviour.

England surrendered their Six Nations crown to Ireland in March before losing a summer Test series in South Africa.

Jones was involved in an altercation with Springbok fans after England’s 42-39 loss in Johannesburg.

“The recent run is disappointing, but I’m not holding Eddie to account,” said RFU chief executive Steve Brown.

“The most important thing with Eddie is the cumulative history, and the win rate is still very high.

“It’s about looking at the whole picture and having confidence in the future plan as well as the history to date.”

England went on a world-record equalling run of international victories after Jones took charge of the side in November 2015, winning 18 consecutive Tests and two Six Nations titles, including one grand slam.

However, England have suffered five defeats in their last six matches and Jones has been involved in a confrontations with opposition supporters in Scotland and South Africa.

Speaking about Jones’ discipline, Brown told BBC Sport: “We have discussed specific incidents that have occurred and talked about how they can be handled moving forward.

“We should never have those things played out in public but we are talking about people in very intense situations, so I guess it is reasonable to expect that sometimes people don’t behave exactly as you want them to.”

However, the chief executive of the RFU says he has “faith” in Jones’ values and that the Australian “understood” the importance of the discussions.

The search for a defence coach continues

Brown says England are in “discussions with various people” for a new defence coach, after Paul Gustard stepped down following the South Africa tour to take charge of Premiership side Harlequins.

“Eddie (Jones) and the RFU are looking to appoint a coach as quickly as possible and before the Autumn internationals.

“This is Eddie’s appointment as well so it’s important that he is making the selection too. He is also talking about an attack coach as well, so that we have a full complement in terms of the Autumn.”

England begin their autumn schedule against South Africa at Twickenham on 3 November.

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BBC Sport – Rugby Union

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