Jones to sit down with Robshaw

Date published: November 20 2015

Eddie Jones spoke to the media at Twickenham on Friday after being unveiled as England's next head coach, addressing a range of issues regarding his new role.

Jones only held his opening press conference with the Stormers last Thursday but met with RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie in Cape Town two days later, the first of a series of talks which culminated in him flying to London to finalise his contract.

The former Wallabies boss will start with England on December 1 and plans to meet with the current England coaching staff – Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt – before deciding on whether to keep them on.

"Last week I was staring at Table Mountain with my sunglasses on, now I'm wearing an overcoat. You never know how things might turn out," he said with a smile.

"I don't like letting people down and I don't feel good about what happened with the Stormers, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The president and CEO [of the Stormers] were very kind in letting me go."

When quizzed on the style of play he would be adopting with England after an impressive Rugby World Cup campaign with Japan earlier this year, Jones revealed he wants the team to show "bulldog" qualities.

"Every team has its own way of preparing, you don't prepare England like Japan or Japan like Australia," he said.

"The strength of English rugby has always been the set-piece and we don't want to take that away. We want to have that bulldog spirit in defence. But we have to add things and I need to look at the players we have available and then work out what we can add to our game.

"You have to create your own unique style of play and I want the players to believe in it 100 percent. If we get that buy-in from the players then we'll have a strong side and then rather than trying to imitate the All Blacks, they will be watching us. That would be nice wouldn't it?"

Jones wrote a column for the Daily Mail during the World Cup and openly said that current England captain Chris Robshaw was not up to international standard as an openside flanker, something that was brought up by the press at Twickenham on Friday.

"I was writing a column and probably being a bit naughty. I'm going to sit down and have a chat with him. Like all the players he's starting on zero and he'll have a chance to impress," added Jones.

He continued: "In any job you need a good relationship between the chairman, CEO and head coach, but knowing the integrity of these guys alongisde me we can sit in a room and work out what's best for English rugby.

"We've had some good long chats and I understand the situation. I've coached here twice before with Saracens so I know how it works.

"When you're on one side of the fence you have your view and then you have another view on the other side of it, and whichever side you're on, that side is right. We have a good relationship with the clubs but we want it to be better. The way we're going to move forward is to keep that good relationship."

While England failed to progress from the pool at their home tournament, Jones revealed that the future looks bright for a young team as they set their sights on the 2016 Six Nations and beyond.

"I've got no doubt about the talent available and 70 percent of the 2015 squad can play in four years time," he said.

"It's up to me to select the right players, mould them into a team and establish a style of play. In Scotland it might be pouring with rain and we'll kick on penalty, but that's how we'll have to win. Then we might be at Twickenham with a fast track and quick ball at the breakdown, and we'll have to play another way to win.

"It's not about if you kick or run or pass, it's about the appropriate type of rugby for each situation. We'll have a base style of play, but then we have to adapt, and that's the challenge."

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie was visibly delighted with having secured Jones on a four-year contract based on his experience.

"International experience and successful international experience at the level that Eddie has got was what we were looking for," he said.

"In the conversations we've had and Eddie's track record of developing coaches throughout every job he's had has been fantastic, so I really do think that whoever Eddie chooses and wants to work with, they will be learning a lot.

"I do think it's an enormous plus point that Eddie has this track record of developing coaches."

by Ben Coles