Shropshire Star

On this day in 2015: Eddie Jones appointed England’s first overseas head coach

The Australian succeeded Stuart Lancaster following England’s woeful Rugby World Cup campaign.


Eddie Jones was announced as England’s first ever overseas rugby union head coach on this day eight years ago.

The Australian took the role on a four-year deal starting in December 2015.

Jones, a former Australia and Japan coach, replaced Stuart Lancaster, who paid the price when England became the first host nation to be eliminated from the group stage in a dismal Rugby World Cup campaign.

Eddie Jones, centre, stands with his players after the 2019 Rugby World Cup final
Eddie Jones, centre, stands with his players after the 2019 Rugby World Cup final (David Davies/PA)

As part of Jones’ negotiations with the Rugby Football Union, compensation had to be paid to the Stormers for the early release from his long-term contract with the Cape Town-based Super Rugby franchise.

“The opportunity to take the reins in possibly the world’s most high-profile international rugby job doesn’t come along every day,” said Jones, who had guided Japan to a remarkable victory over South Africa in their opening World Cup Pool B fixture.

“I’m now looking forward to working with the RFU and the players to move beyond the disappointment England suffered at the World Cup and hope to build a new team that will reflect the level of talent that exists within the English game.

Eddie Jones with the Six Nations trophy
Eddie Jones won three Six Nations titles with England (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“I believe the future is bright for England.”

Under Jones’ leadership, England went on to complete a first Grand Slam in 13 years as they claimed the 2016 Six Nations title and then secured a 3-0 Test series victory in Australia.

England beat New Zealand to reach the 2019 World Cup final in Japan, where they were defeated by South Africa, while they were also Six Nations champions in 2017 and 2020.

Jones was sacked in December 2022 after a poor run of results.

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