Jason Robinson has urged Twickenham to act decisively in deciding whether Eddie Jones is the right man to lead England into the next World Cup.
Jones’ future beyond July 2021 when his contract expires is uncertain, with both the head coach and the Rugby Football Union unwilling to state whether he will remain in the role for France 2023.
England sit at the top of the Guinness Six Nations table, putting them in a strong position to win a third title under Jones when a Championship delayed by the outbreak of coronavirus is eventually concluded.
Robinson, the World Cup winner who won 51 Red Rose caps as a devastating wing and full-back, admires the Australian’s win ratio of 79 per cent but insists the RFU must choose quickly.
“For me, everything is based on results. We reached a World Cup final last autumn and, despite not winning, I see that as a success,” said Robinson after taking part in the ‘Wenglish Choir’ on behalf of Guinness Six Nations.
“With one game to go in the tournament, we’re at the top of the standings. That is success. If Eddie stays, then England can build. But if he’s not going to be there beyond 2021 and they want to bring someone else in, it should happen soon rather than later so that the person coming in can build that team towards the World Cup in France.
“It takes time and preparation and you need to have the right players in. Any coach needs to do things his own way and that takes time. If Eddie is the man, then his record shows he’s done a fantastic job with England and I wouldn’t have any problem with him staying on due to the success he’s had.
“But if he isn’t the man then the sooner you can get somebody else in, it makes a big difference. You see that with Wales and Wayne Pivac replacing Warren Gatland – it’s a big adjustment.”
Jones is a controversial figure at times and none more so than during the current Six Nations. The 60-year-old still has the prospect of a disrepute charge looming over him after he accused referee Ben O’Keeffe of acting as a 16th man for Wales in Saturday’s 33-30 victory at Twickenham.
Earlier in the tournament, he made a race-related gaffe, stated that England could have declared at half-time against Ireland had it been a cricket match and caused an uproar in France for the use of overly-bellicose language.
The RFU must decide whether a win rate that is surpassed only by New Zealand is valuable enough to overlook the frequent verbal detonations, but Robinson certainly thinks it is. “We’re all different people and that’s life. We’re different characters and that’s what makes the game what it is,” the Lions great said.
“I never enjoy coaching. Winning is a relief. Anyone who tells you they enjoy coaching is lying,” Jones said.https://t.co/U7i9iAAwEe
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) March 8, 2020
“We don’t want robots. There’s emotion around the game and sometimes you can’t help but relieve some of that emotion. Otherwise, you might as well just talk to a computer. I haven’t been in his coaching shoes at that level, but I know what coaching is like – it can be frustrating and there’s pressure. Sometimes you say stuff.
“It might not be the right time to say, but that’s just human beings in professional sport. I’m glad we see character coming out rather than sport or players being stale. The personalities there are in the game, the more interesting it is.”
– Press Association
WATCH: England’s Eddie Jones with the media following last weekend’s win over Wales
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