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'There were a couple of mistakes': Eddie Jones on England tenure and 'outstanding' Borthwick

Eddie Jones and Steve Borthwick discuss tactics. Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Eddie Jones has backed “outstanding” Steve Borthwick to be a success as England rugby head coach and opened up on the mistakes he believes cost him the job.


Jones was dismissed last month after a poor 2022 having held the role for seven years and guided England to the 2019 World Cup final.

He told the Guardian: “I don’t have any regrets but there were a couple of mistakes, a couple of decisions I probably rushed.”

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Jones cited poor decisions regarding his assistants as one mistake, while criticising England’s reliance on the public school system and the type of players it produced did not go down well with the establishment.

“That was one of my mistakes,” he said. “Once you get that group offside you’re in trouble. But diversity is so important and sport’s not sheltered from that.”

On the field, Jones accepted he also made mistakes, saying: “In 2020 we won the two trophies on offer but were widely criticised because of the style of play. The adjustment to a better style was needed and I probably didn’t get the evolution right.”

Borthwick worked with Jones in Japan before joining the England set-up as forwards coach between 2015 and 2020.


Borthwick subsequently left to become head coach at Leicester and last month was appointed as the man to succeed Jones.

“Steve Borthwick was there until 2020,” said Jones. “He then wanted his own career. One of my jobs was to get England to win again, which I did, and also to produce the next head coach. So I look back with satisfaction because Steve will do a bloody good job. He’s outstanding.”

Jones, who turns 63 later this month, is itching to get back into rugby and revealed he is mulling over two offers.

“I’ve got a couple of good options,” he said. “I’m getting to the stage of talking contracts so I’ll make a decision in the next couple of weeks.”



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