Eddie Jones’ boss will today deliver his preliminary verdict on England’s worst ever Six Nations campaign.
A review into how the world’s biggest and richest rugby country could finish last-but-one has already begun.
Jones and his coaching team met yesterday for a debrief. England’s under-fire head coach also took a call from RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney.
Twickenham were quick to make clear that there would be no knee-jerk reaction to England’s hapless spring.
That losing to Scotland, Wales and Ireland for the first time in 45 years would not bring about snap decisions.
That seeing recent World Cup finalists buried beneath an avalanche of points and penalties should not automatically trigger the break clause in Jones’ contract.
But Sweeney will be expected to state clearly his displeasure and not simply rubber-stamp another two years of Jones’ methods.
“It just seems with that England side it’s harder to get out of than in at the minute,” Lions legend Jamie Roberts told Sky Sports . “It hasn’t worked in this campaign and something has to change.”
When England finished fifth in the 2018 championship and ended up losing five in a row, Jones dodged the bullet, though RFU chairman Andy Coslett stopped short of providing long-term assurances, saying: “You’re asking for unconditional support and only my children get that.”
That was a year out from a World Cup, too late for drastic change and Jones, in fairness, proved his worth by rebuilding an ageing team and taking it to the final.
This is different. It is two and a half years out, England’s squad needs inspiration not rejuvenation and the clamour for change is growing louder.
Roberts said: “His players have come out, as has he, and said ‘we know the path we were on’. I just can’t see it.
“I’m trying to understand, one, how they want to play the game and, two, how on earth he can pick players who aren’t in form and haven’t had game time.
“I think that’s come back to bite him and I just see this stubbornness in Eddie Jones not to change.
“There are players lighting up the Premiership who are waiting for their opportunity and he’s missed a massive chance to blood those players this campaign.
“It’s about the short and medium term I guess as a Test coach. It’s about the here and now, obviously, because that’s what Test rugby is about. But the World Cup is in two years’ time.
“When you look at your Marcus Smith’s, Alex Dombrandt’s, Sam Simmonds’, these guys with the right exposure over the next few seasons are World Cup match winners. But they’re not getting that exposure.”
Should the RFU decide to make a change there are no shortage of quality alternatives.
Lions boss Warren Gatland, Crusaders coach Scott Robertson and current England No.2 John Mitchell are three top-class Kiwis.
Domestic quartet Rob Baxter, Pat Lam, Steve Borthwick and Mark McCall are proven operators.
Whilst World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus and ex-England boss Stuart Lancaster would make any shortlist.