Five things Eddie Jones MUST do to get England back on track
England became the first primary host nation ever not to reach the knockout stages at their home Rugby World Cup
New coach Eddie Jones must sort out his back-room team as soon as possible
His predecessor Stuart Lancaster could not nail down a consistent selection
Captain Chris Robshaw’s future as England Captain should be in severe doubt
Mike Brown’s frustration: The Aussie must get everybody in the squad back on the same page
The wheels have well and truly fallen off England’s chariot in the last few months with the RFU calling upon experienced coach Eddie Jones to repair the squad following their toothless home Rugby World Cup campaign.
And, to add to the Aussie’s problems, he has various issues away from the rugby pitch that also need addressing.
The good news for Jones is that there’s still time before the 2016 Six Nations kick off. But are the mounting problems easily fixed?
Here, RUCK looks at five of the issues Jones needs to put straight as soon as possible.
1) He needs to establish who his best players are
Under Jones predecessor, players, pundits and fans could never second guess who was going to play with inconsistent selections being very much a theme of the Stuart Lancaster’s reign.
Jones’ first job as head coach will be to make some significant decisions regarding his selection, starting at number 10 where he has to pick who will be his main man between Owen Farrell and George Ford.
The midfield, which was the central area of discussion from throughout the RWC, would be the next area of the team that needs his attention. Australians, by instinct, like two playmakers so the either/or option of Ford and Farrell could be sorted by picking both of them in the same starting XV.
2) Identify a fitting Captain
No-one embodied England’s poor RWC campaign more than their underperforming Skipper. Following some very dubious decisions during the competition, Robshaw’s position as England Captain, as expected, looks under severe threat.
The right decision to start this new era is to probably appoint a new Captain, but with limited options available Jones may have sleepless nights trying to come to a final decision.
Mike Brown could be the man as the fullback certainly doesn’t lack passion. The Quins stalwart was also one of England’s only impressive performers during the RWC.
3) Patch up internal conflicts
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to work out England isn’t a happy ship at the moment. Mike Brown vented his frustration at stories and anonymous information being leaked to the media from inside the England camp.
All that has made for what some have described as an ‘uncomfortable atmosphere when the players meet up.
Trust is undoubtedly a massive part of the game and if Jones is going to have success with the men in white he will need to ensure he gets all his players, staff and anybody else involved back on the same page and heading in the one direction.
4) The back-room team
Jones needs to make the decision whether the current staff are good enough to continue or simply need to go.
It’s been reported the Aussie will have a free hand to appoint who he wants as his assistants, but Jones new team should have an English influence, both from an emotional and developmental point of view.
Selected the right back staff could be the difference between success and failure during his tenure as England boss.
5) The penalty count
The explosive situation between England and referees has been a constant problem in recent year’s with indiscipline, at the breakdown especially, costing the men in white a lot of points.
It’s an issue that continues to reoccur with the national team, and if England are to become a force in world rugby once again, this must be a part of their game that is put right.