‘The system’s not right’: Eddie Jones slams the RFU 9 months after being sacked
Former England head coach and now Australia head coach Eddie Jones delivered a scathing criticism of the RFU today and their failure to bring through talent.
As a guest on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the England coach of seven years seemed to sympathise with current head coach Steve Borthwick as he has an “ageing” squad and not enough young talent coming through.
Jones went on to say that the head coach is then usually to blame for poor results, hinting either at his sacking in December or the current criticism directed at Borthwick, but said that it is the RFU’s responsibility to develop the next generation of players, which he believes they are not doing.
England’s poor form culminated in their first ever loss to Fiji last Saturday, but their sharp decline has been clear to see over the past four years. While it was probably hoped by the RFU that sacking Jones would remedy their problems, the Australian must secretly be having the last laugh as he highlights the problems lie far deeper than the head coach.
“It’s a difficult situation, mate,” Jones said when asked whether he keeps in contact with his former understudy Borthwick.
“You’ve got an ageing team and anyone who knows anything about sport can see that. Then you’ve got new players coming in- some of them have come through and done really well like a Freddie Steward, others are still finding their feet like a Marcus Smith.
“And you just look at the results of the England 20 over the last five years- they’re not producing quality players. Everyone looks at the head coach and wants to blame the head coach but the onus on producing quality players is on the RFU and that hasn’t happened. When you’re not bringing talent through, then you’ve got to look at why your talent development system is not doing that.
“The system’s not right, mate. Whenever talent’s not coming through and it was coming through, then what has changed? What needs to change? Where’s the gap? And that’s the responsibility of the RFU and it’s not for me to give them answers, mate.”