In Brief

RFU backs England coach Eddie Jones despite ‘horror’ show in South Africa

England’s 23-12 defeat in Bloemfontein was their fifth Test loss in a row

Eddie Jones will remain as England’s head coach after receiving the backing of the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

Jones’s side lost the second Test on Saturday against South Africa, a defeat that sealed the series for the Springboks and saw England lose a fifth successive match.

The 23-12 defeat in Bloemfontein was compared to a horror movie by Jones, the BBC reports, as England players argued with supporters after the game.  

After another loss Jones said: “I’m obviously very disappointed. We started the game well but it was a bit like a horror movie. It was a like a rerun [of the first Test]. We were trying to work out a solution and pick out a plan... [but] as soon as something small happens we don’t seem to react well.”

Sky Sports reports that the RFU has backed Jones and there are “no plans to reconsider his contract”. In a statement the RFU told Sky: “The RFU supports Eddie Jones and his coaching team.” 

The brief response from the RFU is a “terse statement of support” for Jones, says The Daily Telegraph’s Gavin Mairs, with the governing body “stopping well short” of declaring that the Australian was the right man to lead England to next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

England need a reboot

The Guardian’s Robert Kitson adds that the loss in South Africa has exposed “an unhealthy regime that needs a drastic reboot”. Kitson writes: “It is reaching a point where their morale is almost as shaken as it was in the aftermath of the 2015 World Cup. Things do not feel entirely right behind the scenes, with Jones’s all-pervasive influence at risk of becoming counter-productive.” 

Meanwhile Tom Fordyce of the BBC asks where it’s all gone wrong for Jones and England. Citing poor defence, indiscipline and too many mistakes during a year where England also finished a worst-ever fifth in the Six Nations, Fordyce concludes: “Something has to change for England. Jones has never had a more challenging task.” 

England are 2-0 down in the three-Test series against the Springboks and will travel to Cape Town on Saturday looking to restore their pride. The Telegraph says that defeat at Newlands this weekend would equal the worst run of results since 2006.

Saturday’s third Test starts at 4.05pm (UK time) and is live on Sky Sports

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