Is Eddie jones finished?


That question is prominent in many English rugby fan’s minds since the start of our 2021 six nations campaign. After our shocking performance against Scotland where we put in a pitiful kicking game, many England fans were left disappointed. In fact, I would have been more then disappointed if I had payed the £100+ fee to go and watch the match in person during non-covid times. The performance was robotic at best; it seems Jones has implemented a new game plan in which players are unable to play freely. Instead, the team relies on the boot of Farrell, Youngs and Daley to make the yardage. In fact, the kicking game has been drilled so heavily into the players, that May didn’t take a kick tap in with 500 yards of free space despite the fact he’s arguably the fastest player in the tournament.


There is a general feel Eddie Jones is not utilising the world class squad he has before him. With forwards such as Curry, the Vunipola brothers, Jamie George and more, England dominates the rest of the tournament in size, physicality and power. However, we’ve seen in both the Scotland and the Italy match that the tackling has been sub-par to say the least. Now, there is the argument that Covid has restricted the physicality of training sessions and the players are out of practice due to restrictions, and that is definitely a factor. Although, the other very obvious factor in the poor tackling performance is that the forward pack is having to run 80m back and forth chasing down their own kicks. Our forward pack is renowned for the physical dominance they bring to any game, not their ability to run up and down a pitch.


Jones has also faced criticism for his choice of squad. His repeated selection of Youngs at 9 has been brought under fire a few times. At his best, Youngs is a fast and experienced player. However, in recent years, he has become hesitant and indecisive, causing the flow of the attack to break down and our momentum as a team to fizzle. Having brought spencer into the world cup team, many fans thought this was a turning point, but since he has seemed to disappear of Jones’s radar. The selection of Daley has also been an interesting choice, with his tackling being almost non-existent. It appears he lacks in confidence, causing him to miss almost every tackle. With England’s shocking attack, it is vital they have a bullet-proof defence, so why does Jones continue to select players who consistently do not show up.


It’s fair to say that since placing 2nd in the world in the world cup, looking formidable and unstoppable, England have lost their mojo. Many argue that Eddie Jones’s career coaching England lies in their performance in the rest of this six nations. Let’s hope the England of old walk out onto the pitch this Saturday, else we are in for a dire match of kicking and not a very good game of rugby.