Eddie Jones begins work as England head coach: What's in the new man's in-tray?
Australian starts his reign on Tuesday needing to prioritise calls on his staff, captain and ethos
Sort the back-room staff
Eddie Jones has three basic options. He can retain those who were Stuart Lancaster’s right-hand men – Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt – or he can go for a fresh start and bring in a new coaching team, or he can mix and match, keeping faith with those whose views chime with his.
What is clear is that there will be no fudging. And whatever he does has to be done with the long-term in mind. That much is on record. Jones is here for four years, through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. After that, he is off “to watch cricket in Barbados”. Even though buzz phrases such as ‘legacy’, ‘transition’, ‘development’ and ‘smooth handover’, have been in vogue since Clive Woodward’s time in office, there has never been any semblance of a plan for the future. Hire a coach. Sack a coach. That has been the Rugby Football Union’s policy. Well, this time, the appointment of Jones is an end‑stopped project. In November 2019 the RFU will need a new head coach. That means it ought to be serious about nurturing one. That could be Farrell.