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The five favourites to take over England from Eddie Jones

By Ian Cameron
Steve Borthwick (PA)

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Warren Gatland has been made the clear favourite to take over the reins from embattled England head coach Eddie Jones.

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On Sunday the RFU has moved quickly to end any doubt over the future of the Australian coach Jones’ future in the wake of Saturday night’s 25-13 defeat by France, who were crowned grand slam champions in Paris.

While Jones has been backed by the RFU to retain his role at the Rugby World Cup France, it hasn’t stopped the bookies calling the odds on who would take over from him should he leave the role.

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William Hill have the former Wales boss a 3/1 favourite to be England’s next coach with rumours circulating over Eddie Jones’ future after another disappointing Six Nations campaign.

Jones is still odds-on at 4/6 to still be in charge come England’s first Autumn International against Argentina in early November, but given he’s just 11/10 to not be, Hills have chalked up a list of potential replacements with former Wales and Lions head coach Gatland the leading contender.

Exeter boss Rob Baxter comes next at 4/1, while Kiwi Scott Robertson is 5/1 and Leicester’s Steve Borthwick is available at 8/1.

Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson is 5/1, Ireland’s Andy Farrell is 14/1 and Pat Lam is 20/1. If you want a long shot, Jonny Wilkinson is a 33/1 bet, while Sir Clive Woodward is 50/1 to reprise his former role.

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William Hill spokesperson, Tony Kenny, said: “Just two wins in this year’s Six Nations was another poor return for Eddie Jones and at 11/10 we think there’s a strong chance he might be replaced as England’s head coach.

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“If he was removed from the role, it’s Warren Gatland who we make the 3/1 favourite to replace him with Rob Baxter next best at 4/1.”

The English finished third, an improvement on last year’s fifth place but one unlikely to ease the pressure on coach Eddie Jones after a second straight championship in which they lost three games.

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Jones will once again meet with Twickenham’s anonymous ‘advisory panel’ to analyse another failed campaign, but he will enter the process knowing his future is assured with the World Cup just 18 months away.

It is the third time in five years that England have ended the competition with three losses and comes just 12 months after Jones survived an inquest into finishing fifth.

However, the RFU is confident he remains the right man for the job.

“Eddie Jones is building a new England team and against a clear strategy we are encouraged by the solid progress the team has made during this Six Nations,” an RFU spokesperson said.

“The RFU continues to fully support Eddie, the coaching team and players and we are excited about the summer tour (to Australia) and the progress to rebuild a winning England team.

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“Eddie and his team of coaches and players will conduct a full review as is normal after each tournament,” the spokesperson said.

“The RFU advisory panel – which consists of board and executive members, former players and coaches, along with Eddie – will also undertake a debrief to discuss the strong positive steps forward during this campaign and the areas we need to address.

“The advisory group has been in place since 2019 and it meets regularly both during and after each tournament to evaluate clear targets and progression.”

additional reporting AAP

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