Eddie Jones feels disputes between RFU and Premiership clubs holding England back
Last Updated: 26/06/19 1:51pm
Eddie Jones has admitted that he has found it harder than he expected to improve English rugby due to conflict between clubs and the RFU.
The Australian took over as England coach after a disappointing 2015 World Cup group stage exit.
Jones led England to back-to-back Six Nations triumphs in his first two seasons in charge, but they have experienced an inconsistent period in the build up to this year's World Cup in Japan, which begins in September.
"I have always thought England have been underperforming," Jones told The Times.
"If you have financial security and depth of players, you should be one of the top three countries in the world most of the time, and that hasn't been the case. So I always thought there was an opportunity to do things better.
"But then you get into the game here and find out why. It's a difficult job because it's a battleground between the clubs and the RFU and you sit in the middle, and you are blamed for most things. And that's been the tricky part. I feel you are always being held back."
In his three-and-a-half years in charge, Jones has worked under four RFU chief executives, with Bill Sweeney having taken on the role in February.
Jones is contracted until 2021, but there is thought to be a chance he will step down after the World Cup. Earlier in June, Warren Gatland ruled out taking over from Jones as England head coach after it was confirmed he will lead the British and Irish Lions for a third time.
"There are wonderful players here and a wonderful opportunity but it's always being held back by the traditions of the game here," Jones said.
"The clubs run themselves basically and the RFU tries to manage it. The RFU has the financial clout but the clubs have the political clout. You need those things to be working together to be sustainably successful.
"We've shown you can have some success here but whether you can be sustainably successful, like New Zealand, in the situation here may be problematic."