Rugby Union

Eddie Jones looks set to become England's next head coach.

England closing in on Eddie Jones appointment

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England are set to announce Eddie Jones as their new head coach on Friday as they finalise details of the agreement that will see the Australian become the nation's first overseas appointment.

Jones has travelled to London for talks with the Rugby Football Union and with the level of compensation for his release from his Stormers contract believed to have been negotiated, the 55-year-old's move will be completed imminently.

The Cape Town-based Stormers are seeking "final clarity on the situation", but have called a briefing for Friday morning during which they are expected to confirm his departure.

Jones, whose CV includes spells with Australia, South Africa, Japan and Saracens, must finalise the identity of his assistants with Bristol forwards coach Steve Borthwick expected to join him.

The shake-up at Twickenham is likely to result in the departure of Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt, Stuart Lancaster's lieutenants whose fates are to be decided by Jones.

Lancaster stepped down last week by mutual consent in the wake of England's poor showing at the World Cup.

In a further development, former South Africa coach Jake White ruled himself out of contention to fill any position at Twickenham after declaring his future belongs to Montpellier.

Reports state the RFU is ready to create a director of rugby role and that White had been identified as a suitable fit, but the 52-year-old insisted on Thursday that he is to remain in the Top 14.

"It's important for the club, players and atmosphere to remove the doubt. I told the president I wanted to stay here," said White, who stated last week that he was interested in succeeding Lancaster.

While Australia captain Stephen Moore and veteran South Africa lock Bakkies Botha, who have both worked under Jones, hailed the Australian's vision and meticulous preparation, Dean Ryan offers an alternative view.

Ryan, Worcester's director of rugby, points out that Jones' extensive CV shows as many failures as successes and demanded that if appointed, he grooms a prominent Englishman as his successor.

"Jones certainly comes with a CV packed with trophies and plaudits, yet the ups are often mirrored by some pretty difficult-to-ignore slumps," Ryan said in his column for The Guardian.

"Unsurprisingly given this record, the message I hear from inside the game is that he polarises opinion. Depending on who you speak to, you hear he was fantastic or he was horrendous. There's very little in between."

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