Clive Woodward has slammed England boss Eddie Jones for heading to Japan to do some coaching at Suntory Sungoliath during his annual leave, claiming the situation makes England rugby look ridiculous just a week after the RFU published its review in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations fifth-place finish. 

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The 2003 World Cup-winning coach has been hugely critical of Jones in recent times for the manner in which England’s results have fallen by the wayside and he has now mounted a stinging rebuke over the Australian’s work on the side.

Writing in his latest Sportsmail column, Woodward said: “Has anyone got the bottle to keep Eddie Jones under control? His coaching role in Japan makes English rugby look RIDICULOUS… he should be 100 per cent focused on the job and can afford absolutely zero distractions.”

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Beauden Barrett talks about England coach Eddie Jones

The RFU have given their blessing to the consultancy roles England boss Jones currently has with Suntory in Japan and with San Diego Legion in America, but the optics of the Australian flying out to work with the likes of the All Blacks Beauden Barrett at the same time the RFU has delivered its 2021 review hasn’t been a good look for Jones.   

“I am one of the very few people who is qualified to state, categorically, that if you are going to coach England in the professional era, you can afford absolutely zero distractions — and I mean zero,” insisted Woodward. 

“Everything has to take second place. At times that even includes your family, who have to make big sacrifices to give you the time and space to do the job properly. It is all-consuming. Heaven knows how you combine coaching England with writing books and running parallel coaching consultancies in other parts of the world. That can all come afterwards if that is what you want; a happy by-product of doing a good job with England. 

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“But when you are in situ it’s 24/7, all year round. As head coach, you demand 100 per cent commitment from your players and you must give it back in return… In anyone’s language, it is a really bad look the England coach in Japan coaching and advising with Suntory and Beauden Barrett just weeks after a miserably poor Six Nations campaign.”

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