Eddie Jones: England head coach should stay for 2023 World Cup, says Will Greenwood
"I think English rugby is in a great place," says 2003 World Cup winner
Last Updated: 04/11/19 5:30pm
Will Greenwood believes it would be "extremely strange" if Eddie Jones was not in charge of England at the 2023 World Cup in France.
England head coach Jones has a contract, signed January 2018, to remain in his post until 2021 - midway through the next World Cup cycle.
Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney told Sky Sports News on Sunday Jones remained "committed" to fulfilling his contract and that no formal discussions had yet been held over extending his tenure.
Jones had said it was "not the time to discuss" his future in the immediate aftermath of England's 32-12 defeat against South Africa in the World Cup final on Saturday in Yokohama.
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Asked about Jones' future, Greenwood told Sky Sports News: "From what I believe to be the case, when he was initially offered a contract to 2021 it was so that post 2019 he could transition a new coach into the role.
"From the outside, the commentary position we were thinking that is a great thing because does that suggest we might have someone like Rob Baxter or an English coach coming through the ranks who may be able to get the job without international experience which had always been a sticking point.
"If you didn't have international experience you couldn't be the top coach. That was how it was perceived and it just short of changed.
"Eddie [indicated] 'no, I am going to stay with my hands on the reigns'. So, then if you think you are going to stay with your hands on the reins until 2021 you surely want to do the World Cup cycle.
"The coach should surely be given the opportunity do the World Cup cycle.
"When he came in January 2016 [he] delivered a Grand Slam immediately, [then] delivered a 3-0 series whitewash away in Australia [and has now] turned over the All Blacks 19-7 in a World Cup semi-final, brought through a whole host of players now who can be viewed as top class.
"I think it would be extremely strange if Eddie wasn't in France in 2023."
Jones indicated his determination to overhaul the England squad - declared to be "finished" by the Australian - which reached a World Cup final for the first time in 12 years, four years on from their exit at the pool stage at home.
But Greenwood is more positive about the pool of players who defeated two-time defending champions New Zealand in the semi-finals and believes they could use the disappointment of the final to fuel their determination to win the World Cup next time around.
"The average age of this side suggests get on them for 2023," he said.
"You often look at a team going through real heartache the tournament before they win and history is scattered with teams having a huge disappointment when perhaps they were expected to perform slightly better and then the next World Cup they have their hands on Webb Ellis Cup.
"I think English rugby is in a great place."
South Africa, who also won the Rugby Championship for the first time since 2009, have enjoyed a resurgence since Rassie Erasmus took charge in March 2018 and Greenwood admitted the Springboks dealt with the expectation better.
"They have been brilliant for 18 months. They weren't great against Wales [in the semi-finals] so they were written off," Greenwood said.
"They are fantastic, came out and played and were accurate. They had a monster scrum, electric wingers who as a team handled the pressure and played with more composure.
"After [England] made an error, they made another error. After South Africa made one they didn't make another. That is going to be the regret for some of these boys but you have to put into context.
"How good were they against the All Blacks?! That is the frustrating thing for them that they couldn't quite reproduce the greatest performance in an England jersey on the night when it really mattered."