England could keep Jones beyond 2019

Date published: September 28 2016

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18:  Eddie Jones (L) the England head coach talks to RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie in the dressing room after their victory during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at AAMI Park on June 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England are willing to extend Eddie Jones’s contract beyond the 2019 World Cup or look to another overseas coach if the Australian does step down.

Jones is still unbeaten as England coach after overseeing nine straight wins since taking over at the end of 2015. The Australian said a big part of his job as coach was to groom an English successor to take over from him when he steps down.

The RFU’s chief executive Ian Ritchie said this week they would consider extending Jones’s deal or look to another overseas coach if a suitable English candidate doesn’t emerge in the next three years.

“Eddie’s contract ending in 2019 is certainly the discussion that we had, but it’s up to him. Who can tell what happens over the next three years or so?” Ritchie said.

“I’m working on the assumption of 2019 because that’s what we did the deal on in the first place. As it moves and develops, no doubt we’ll sit down and discuss it together. I do think it’s early doors. I think when we get nearer to it, and it depends on how he sees it, if he’s changed his mind, and whether we want to ask. When Eddie came in there was a discussion about his assistants being English and we’ve got to get a situation of better integrated coach development.

“We’ll be happy if there is an English coach who stands up to that. If we haven’t, we’ll need to go back to someone with proven international experience.”

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