Eddie Jones optimistic in keeping attack coach Scott Wisemantel while RFU warn of no fear of coach swap ahead of World Cup.
By Ali Stokes
England Head Coach Eddie Jones has revealed he is “cautiously optimistic” he can retain fellow Australian and attack coach Scott Wisemantel after the former Rugby League player assisted in developing England’s attack this summer.
“He did a good job on tour,” Jones said. “He’s mad as a cut snake, though, so if I can find a way of keeping a snake controlled, then maybe we might keep him.
“He’s done really well and the players have enjoyed his coaching. It’s a matter of whether he can fix his home situation, because he’s got a family with three young kids. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’ll be able to keep him on.”
Jones also practised picking his world cup squad following the 1-2 series defeat in South Africa, claiming that it was not “too different from what we had pencilled in before”, despite a disappointing series defeat this June.
The 58-year-old also added: “We have a pretty good idea who can go forward and who can’t. A lot of those guys weren’t on tour.”
RFU Chairman Andy Cosslett has also warned that the national set-up is not afraid of bringing in a new Head Coach ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup is results do not improve next season.
Cosslett said that Jones had built up plenty of credit after a storming first two years that included two Six Nations titles, one Grand Slam and a 3-0 series victory in Australia. Jones had managed to bring England out of their 2015 home World Cup disappointment that the 62-year-old Cosslett described as “their lowest ebb”.
When asked whether the RFU’s support of Jones would be without question, Cosslett replied “You’re asking for unconditional support and only my children get that, and, even then, not always. It’s not something you give because you’re under assessment the whole time. It’s just what we do. There are 600 people in the RFU and we don’t go around telling them they’re all supported.
“They should know they’re supported, assuming they’re doing their job well enough. That’s where we are. There’s no point at which that stops or starts. He [Jones] has earned the right to make a strong case for the way ahead. We’ll listen to his review on the tour and it’ll be fascinating to see what he’s got to say.”
When asked whether there was a point of no return in the lead up to the 2019 World Cup, now 15-months away, Cosslett said: “You have to make a decision – life isn’t like that. Things happen at the most inconvenient time – that is what life does.
“It always seems to happen like that. There is no time limit. And you make decisions on the basis of the evidence or information you have at any given moment. Hopefully, we won’t have to face that and we will have a run through to the World Cup.
“We have shown a lot of confidence in Eddie and we think he is still the man, but we will see where it goes to from here in terms of the next few months.
“There’s no time limit. In a continuous review environment, you’re continually trying to understand how you get better. Eddie will be making those points to Steve and Steve will take a view. We haven’t had the review yet, so we don’t know what will come out of it. Eddie’s take on the tour will be fascinating. There’s no moment when these decisions are taken.”
Cosslett also revealed that the post-tour review would not be as intense as the scrutiny Jones and his coaching staff underwent after a fifth-place Six Nations finish earlier this year. “It certainly won’t be a review like we had after the Six Nations, that was a drains-up review of what took place,” Cosslett added. “There were a lot of people involved in that. This is much more of a hand on the tiller, what’s going on, what did we see down here, what can we improve on.
“Let’s have a look at the plan from here and how does it stand because we have 15 months until the World Cup. Everyone knows that’s the focus. Eddie has to come in and tell us his plan.”
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