Defiant Eddie Jones vows to carry on experimenting with England squad


England head coach Eddie Jones has had time to reflect on England’s loss to Argentina (Picture: Getty Images)

Eddie Jones has admitted his focus on preparing England for next year’s World Cup played a part in Sunday’s defeat to Argentina, but vowed to continue using the autumn games to experiment.

England’s 30-29 loss has prompted heavy criticism of the Australian coach, who said: ‘I was very disappointed with the last game. We weren’t good enough and it was totally my responsibility.

‘When your team doesn’t play to the potential you want, there is always something in the message that you’re giving the team that’s not quite clear.

‘When I reflect on the game, we’ve been looking at a number of long-term strategies to get ourselves set for the World Cup, and maybe our focus wasn’t tight enough on the Argentina game.

‘Maybe we were over-thinking a bit, and that’s entirely my fault. There’s a cluster of teams at the top of world rugby and we want to break that cluster, and to do that we have to have a number of ways to play the game. This next 11 months is to get enough equipment in our armoury so we can play in any way.’

Jones, who hopes Manu Tuilagi will be passed fit to face Japan on Saturday after he struggled with blisters in the loss to Argentina, will have to deal with yet another change to his coaching staff in the build-up to the World Cup.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Garry Bowden/Shutterstock (13611101ar) Manu Tuilagi (England) is tackled by Matias Moroni (Argentina) during the England V Argentina Autumn Nations Series rugby match. England V Argentina, Twickenham stadium, Twickenham, London, United Kingdom - 06 Nov 2022

The England coach hopes Manu Tuilagi will be fit enough to face Japan this Saturday (Picture: Shutterstock)

England have appointed former Hull FC boss Brett Hodgson as the successor to Anthony Seibold as defence coach. He will take over after the autumn games with Seibold having been appointed head coach of Manly Sea Eagles.

Hodgson will be England’s third defence coach in just over a year while a number of other coaching roles have changed hands since the last World Cup.

But Jones insisted: ‘I don’t think it’s either a strength or a weakness.

‘You want people who are going to evolve to be good coaches. I see that as part of my role, to produce good coaches.’

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