It’s fair to say that Eddie Jones has transformed English rugby during his relatively short time in the job. Since succeeding Stuart Lancaster in the short months after a famous Welsh win at Twickenham ended England’s World Cup hopes, a team at their lowest ebb has made remarkable progress.
After his appointment in November 2015, Jones made an immediate impact, presiding over an impressive Grand Slam victory at the 2016 Six Nations before an historic whitewash in an away series to Australia.
Following that, his team bested another southern hemisphere outfit, beating South Africa for the first time in over a decade. Only an excellent Irish performance denied a second successive Grand Slam and a record 19 consecutive test wins earlier this year.
The revival in fortunes has been characterised by a hard-line approach to discipline and renewed focus. Arguably the clearest departure from the methods of his predecessor has been a ‘back to basics’ approach to team selection. The results are there for all to see.
One underrated feature of his tenure is his mastery in the media. Forthright, outspoken and unapologetic. By winning admirers (if not friends) in the media, he has essentially managed to control the narrative around the England team, often using the outlet to communicate to or protect his players.
The Aussie has regularly declared his goal to be the best team in the world, through repetition, raising expectations among not only fans and commentators, but his team.
He’s no stranger to upsetting the opposition either, riling with carefully selected comments and rarely, if ever taking step back. It makes for a formidable package.
But maybe this time, Eddie Jones has met his match. One unlikely authority has apparently convinced him to change his ways.
After previously refusing to apologise for a foul-mouthed outburst caught on camera during England’s defeat of Argentina on Saturday, the 57-year-old has done the unthinkable and ceded to a higher power..his mum!
Jones was spotted slamming down his notebook and turning the air blue after being left frustrated at a disjointed England performance, and even doubled down on his actions when later questioned about it.
But after a scolding call from his 93-year-old mother, Jones told Sky Sports:
"I apologise for using poor language.
"I got in trouble from my mother. My mother rang up, who's 93, from Australia and said 'please don't swear'. That'll be the last time I swear."
"I was frustrated we didn't play better, I think everyone was a bit frustrated and sometimes you can't control yourself.
"We only had 39 per cent of the ball and we created opportunities, we just weren't able to finish it because we would have liked to have put a real gap on them."
"Ultimately the responsibility always comes back to me so If the players weren't able to do it, I didn't coach them well enough."
England will face a much sterner test than the struggling Pumas this Saturday, as they continue their autumn Old Mutual Wealth Series against Australia, a fixture which takes on extra significance for the Tasmanian.
If he can’t lift the team, it sounds as though maybe he knows someone back home who might?
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