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Eddie who? No place for Jones in Twickers media room

Owen Farrell - PA

Eddie Jones may have had the best win percentage of any England coach, led the team to a Six Nations grand slam and a World Cup final – but the Australian has been quietly erased from the RFU’s England rugby media collage at Twickenham.


One wall of the stadium’s media workroom has long boasted a splendid collection of newspaper front pages, with the 2003 World Cup triumph taking pride of place.

At the end of last year, it also featured several snapshots of Jones’ highlights, including England’s clean sweep series win in Australia in 2016 and their superb World Cup semi-final victory over New Zealand in 2019.

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However, reporters arriving for Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Scotland were greeted by some “revisions”.

England greats Jonny Wilkinson and Martin Johnson are still in place but instead of Jones there are new pieces celebrating referee Wayne Barnes, the England women’s team, a new community rugby initiative and Jones’s replacement Steve Borthwick.

Jones was sacked by England in December and took over as Australia coach last month – and it may well have been a good thing for the home scribes not to see Eddie’s smiling face after the home side had been beaten 29-23 by the Scots.

Jones England RFU claim
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Borthwick’s tenure at England got off to worst possible start. Duhan van der Merwe has scored an early challenger for try of the tournament and also went over for the match-clincher as Scotland beat England 29-23 in the Six Nations to continue their recent Calcutta Cup dominance.

The winger’s 75th-minute try in the left corner sealed a fourth victory in Scotland’s last six matches against its ‘auld enemy’, ruining the first game in charge of England for new coach Steve Borthwick.

It proved an historic day for the Scots, marked the first time they’ve secured back-to-back wins at Twickenham in rugby’s oldest international fixture that dates to 1871.

But it was Van der Merwe’s first try — scored in the 29th minute after setting off from inside his own half — that illuminated an error-riddled and often chaotic match at Twickenham between teams who mixed flashes of brilliance with enough failings to explain their status as outsiders for the title.


Van der Merwe burst through England’s defensive line and shrugged off five would-be tacklers — including two weak efforts near the tryline — to go over for a sensational try.


“As a winger you don’t get a lot of opportunities to score so I needed to take them,” he said. “I was quite surprised how I got my first but I will take that one all day long.”

Huw Jones set Scotland on their way with a 15th-minute try from Australian-born Sione Tuipulotu’s grubber kick, only for England to reply with two tries by winger Max Malins in the first half and another from prop Ellis Genge after halftime.

England were their own worst enemies in their first game of the post-Eddie Jones era as they sought to eke out victory in the second half.

A dropped restart after Genge’s try in the 49th minute gave Scotland the platform to reply through a try from Ben White — via a missed tackle by England flanker Ben Curry — to leave the boys in blue only 20-19 behind.

Owen Farrell’s penalty made it 23-19 but, again, England’s errors allowed Finn Russell to boot his own penalty to trail 23-2 2 and give Scotland hope.

< p>Van der Merwe made the English pay with a winning try as he cut in off the left wing and through two challengers to score.

There remains plenty to fix for Borthwick, who has taken charge after England’s seven years under Jones and with eight months to go until the World Cup.

“This is the first game of a new coach and campaign,” England lock Maro Itoje said. “We wanted a win and fell short. We have to stay positive.

“We are ultimately disappointed — we just weren’t good enough. Fair play to Scotland. There were a few things we got wrong as a team but we can fix them.”


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