Exeter Chairman Tony Rowe has predicted that Eddie Jones and his England team will bomb at the Rugby World Cup.
What’s more, the outspoken boss says the RFU will not be welcome to Exeter DoR Rob Baxter after it happens.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Rugby Paper, Rowe said when he has ‘no doubt’ England will fail in Japan.
“You say ‘if’ (Eddie) bombs, but I have no doubt he will,” Rowe told Neale Harvey. “I don’t think we are strong enough. I can’t see us getting to the final so Eddie Jones may go, but I’m fairly confident that Rob (Baxter), even if he’s had that conversation, wouldn’t be tempted away.
“Rob’s had ten years in charge and he’s been at Exter since I arrived 1993, so that’s 26 years of his life with this team and he’s the leader.
“I don’t think he’ll jump ship halfway through.”
Baxter distanced himself from the role in December of 2018, telling Sky Sports Will Greenwood that: “Obviously it’s an accolade and it’s coaching at a high level. What would really excite me is working with a different group of players, some of the best players in the country which means that they’re some of the best players in the world.
How would a group of England rugby players cope if they were left all alone in the Cornish woods for the night?
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) July 7, 2019
“Some of the players who are involved with England I’m a huge respecter of, and it would be fantastic to work with some of those guys. It would be fantastic to see what you could achieve against some of the best teams in the world.
“So there’s loads of attractive reasons for it, but the attractive reasons have got to outweigh what you want in your life at any given time, and at the moment what I have in my life here in Exeter is more important to me.”
Rowe’s comments come after Eddie Jones named Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ben Moon, Henry Slade and Harry Williams in the official Rugby World Cup training squad. The injured Jack Nowell continues to recover back at the club.
However there was no place for Chiefs back Ollie Devoto.
Jones said: “World Cup selection is a four-year process. We have looked at the squad carefully, tried to build up a squad that has enough experience, attitude and energy to be winners and I think we have that. In the process, we have left out some players who can feel unlucky.
“For those guys who have missed out, the door is never closed but they have just got to be ready, as you never know when the opportunity comes.”
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