The RFU has given its backing to England head coach Eddie Jones after conducting a review of the team’s fifth-place finish in the 2021 Six Nations.
Working to identify what went wrong in England’s worst performance in the tournament since 1987, RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney oversaw the review which interviewed the Men’s coaching staff and playing staff, as well as input from independent experts.
Jones admitted England ‘were not up to our usual high standards’ as they were propped up by Italy in the Six Nations standings 18 months on from contesting the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
The statement revealed several recommendations will be implemented ahead of the July Test matches, which the RFU is working on with USA Rugby and Rugby Canada, with a view to staging the games in England, these include;
• Introduction of additional support structures for coaches and players including enhanced sports psychology and programmatic leadership development starting in the pathway.
• Additional refereeing input to provide technique improvement and awareness during player preparation and development.
• The use of data and analytics in high performance and campaign management is increasing and to support this approach, England Rugby will continue to work with Premiership Rugby with the objective of identifying and introducing one common data system across the pathway and elite performance game, this will be vital to monitoring and developing emerging talent in the pathway as well as being an additional tool to manage player welfare.
• The RFU will ensure external rugby experts inform all future debriefs to provide additional insight and support for the Head Coach. These external advisors will also be utilised after each campaign to provide regular reviews and support for the coaching strategy for future Six Nations campaigns and in the build up to Rugby World Cup 2023.
• To evolve its strategic approach to the game, the RFU aims to deepen its alignment between England Rugby performance and professional clubs. This will start with a proposed summer conference for England Rugby, professional clubs, referees and medics to find common ground and goals for the English game moving forward. Discussion points will include the increasing speed of the game, decision making, data and analytics, refereeing, player development and welfare.
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The exciting England XV Eddie Jones should select for summer Tests
- 15. Max Malins (Bristol Bears)
- 14. Paolo Odogwu (Wasps)
- 11. Ollie Thorley (Gloucester)
- 13. Joe Marchant (Harlequins)
- 12. Piers O’Conor (Bristol Bears)