“I want the best people involved with English rugby. But I’m the head coach and the head coach makes the decision" (Image: Getty Images)
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Eddie Jones struck a defiant tone last night when insisting he remains in sole charge of the England rugby team.
Jones was speaking for the first time since his employers announced a team of expert consultants would review and support the coaching strategy after future England campaigns.
He declared that the Rugby Football Union review, into England’s worst ever Six Nations campaign, had been “very useful” but made it clear he, and no-one else, would continue to have the final say.
“There's only one head coach, mate,” said Jones. “At the end of the day, whether the team wins or loses, the responsibility is mine.
“I use a series of experts in and outside the game to come up with the best coaching environment. I welcome any good advice, I welcome any wisdom I can get – that's no different than it's ever been.
Jones: “There's only one head coach At the end of the day, whether the team wins or loses, the responsibility is mine"
(Image: FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
“I’m asking experts to come in all the time. I spent last Friday with Great Britain hockey coach Danny Kerry. I’ve had Brian Ashton in. I’ve had coffee with Clive Woodward when he has spoken to me – maybe not now!
“I want the best people involved with English rugby. I want to pick their brains. But I’m the head coach and the head coach makes the decision.”
Jones went on to address stinging criticism of his decision to leave the country after England’s fifth placed finish to coach a club side in Japan, whose players include All Blacks star Beauden Barrett.
All Blacks star Beauden Barrett: "Eddie has been so good for me"
(Image: AFP/Getty Images)
“If you're a golfer you play golf,” he said. “I’m a coach, I've got to practice coaching.
“I only get 12 weeks of the year to coach with England so I've got to use my time in between to practice coaching and find better ways to coach.
“Bob Dwyer, who was the coach who had the foremost influence on my coaching, always said, 'the best players are the best coaches, so find the best players, pick there brains and learn from them'.
England prop Kyle Sinckler
(Image: Getty Images)
“That's something I've done consistently for 25 years. Obviously you share some information but it’s very useful.”
Jones would not disclose his selection policy for the July Tests against USA and Canada other than to say Kyle Sinckler, so heartbroken to miss out on Lions selection, would definitely feature.
“We will not be driven by the Lions agenda,” said the Australian, who names his squad a week today. “We will be driven by our agenda.”
Luckless Wasps centre Paolo Odogwu
Paolo Odogwu, selected by England but not used through the entire Six Nations campaign, faces months on the sidelines after scans revealed he suffered an ACL tear last weekend.
The Wasps centre said: “This is obviously a heart-breaking end to probably the best season of my life, but these things happen.”