Jones’ England future to be decided next month

England finished fifth for the second time under Jones, after winning last year’s title (his third since taking over in 2016).

England reached the World Cup final under Jones in 2019 but are in a slump, which he says he expected and puts down to a period of transition.

England veered from the sublime in victory over France to the ridiculous in the defeats to Scotland and Ireland that bookended the campaign.

Jones signed a contract until the end of the 2023 World Cup in the wake of the 2019 tournament, but the deal includes a break clause.

“The team has had its usual internal debrief but we had a debrief scheduled for May, we will probably bring it forward into April and it needs to be a thorough, brutally honest analysis of what went wrong and why and what the issues are,” said Sweeney. “We certainly don’t want it to be an opportunity to wallow in excuses.

“We will have a panel put together with a good mixture of expertise across the RFU but also external and rugby expertise as well so we can make sure we are asking the right questions.

“I think it’s really important at this stage that we apply a bit of good old English calm, if you like. We have to react, you can’t just do nothing. And we won’t do nothing. But at the same time it’s important we don’t overreact.

“Let’s just get this in context, let the dust settle for days rather than weeks but we will kick off that debrief process. We won’t leave any stone unturned in terms of really understanding it. Not dissimilar to what we did when we came back from Japan.”

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