RFU bosses remain steady behind Eddie – despite Six Nations verdict review

Eddie Jones remains under pressure from England fans after a disappointing Six Nations campaign – but those making the decisions are ready to give the Aussie the benefit of the doubt

Jones isn’t ‘bulletproof’, RFU insists, but he’s still our best bet

So Eddie Jones’ bosses were, after all, disappointed with the English Six Nations flop. Massively frustrated In reality.

Not as “encouraged by solid progress” from a winning team twice as they claimed on Sunday.

Less thrilled with the ‘strong positive steps forward’ than their bizarre statement claimed as they left the Grand Slam party in France.

Bill Sweeney, chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, faced the music yesterday and said he understood 100 per cent the frustration of England fans.

“My email inbox will tell you that I completely understand,” he said. “It’s quite difficult for me to get into a social environment at the moment and not comment on rugby.”

He admitted his organization should have acknowledged the pain of fans before talking about progress few are actually able to see.

And, yet, does that change his view that Jones remains the right man to lead England to next year’s World Cup? It’s not.







Bill Sweeney, RFU Chief Executive
(

Picture:

Getty Images)


In fact, despite losing six in 10 Six Nations matches, Sweeney says Jones can not only win the 2023 Six Nations, but we “expect” to play for the Grand Slam last weekend.

“It’s not just emotional or blind faith. Nobody’s bulletproof. Nobody’s indispensable. But he’s got this team going in the direction we think they want to go.”

There is never a shortage of wishful thinking in England, it is the details and transparency that are rather harder to come by.







Antoine Dupont scores against England to seal the French Grand Slam
(

Picture:

Getty Images)


As World Cup winner Paul Grayson said in Wednesday’s Daily Mirror, “What we have is the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. Smoke and mirrors. Look in the opposite direction, everything is fine”.

We are still no closer to knowing who is on the advisory board that is supposed to monitor and review England’s setup.

Nor to understand why exactly England didn’t hire serial Grand Slam-winning England coach Shaun Edwards.

Sweeney revealed he met him 18 months ago and asked if the RFU had ever approached him. Edwards’ response: “Someone called me but it wasn’t a serious call and there was no response.”

Oh that’s right.

Still, Sweeney argues that “we’re in a better place than a year ago.”

There’s no shortage of people who want to believe that. It just takes a little work.

Helen L. Cuellar