TWICKENHAM -- Finding a successor to Eddie Jones is high up on new Rugby Football Union CEO Steve Brown's agenda and he has vowed to recruit someone who is the best person for the job regardless of nationality.
Jones' contract runs out after the 2019 Rugby World Cup and has said he plans to leave the role regardless of how successful they are in the next global gathering. Regarding his next move, Jones has previously said he is "open to everything" -- keeping the door ajar for another coaching role -- but he has also spoken of his wish to use those post-England days, months and years to go and watch cricket in Barbados.
The England coach, who has led the country to back-to-back Six Nations titles and series wins in Australia and Argentina, is seemingly unwavering in his plan to step away from the national side, but from the outset when he got the job back in Dec. 2015, he has emphasised one priority to establish a succession plan for who steps into the top job post-2019.
Brown, who replaced Ian Ritchie, has met Jones four times in three weeks since he started the job on Sept. 4, saying their meetings have a clear structure and their immediate focus is on maximising their chances of winning the 2019 World Cup.
The new CEO said certain previous England teams were "too apologetic", and is a supporter of Jones' bullish nature when it comes to establishing themselves as the clear number one side in world rugby.
Having seen the success England have experienced under Jones -- they have won 19 of 20 matches in his tenure -- they want to appoint a like-for-like successor.
"My general opinion would be the bar has been set very high by Eddie," Brown said. "Eddie has been superbly successful and he will be right up to the World Cup as well. There is a standard that has been set there that shows what we need next time around.
"Ultimately it is measured on winning. The bar has been set and we know where it is and that is where we have got to work to."
Brown said that individual will be the "best person for the job", regardless of nationality. Jones will play a role in identifying his successor and when he got the job he said he hopes to have "a couple of the assistant coaches ready to take over", but if they are not up to scratch then they will look elsewhere.
Although picking a replacement for Jones is high up on Brown's agenda, he does not want it to distract from their goals of winning in 2019.
"One thing that is a priority for me is to look at that succession piece generally," Brown said. "Rather than talking specifically about Eddie, we need to look at post-2019 and what happens next. That is an important thing for me to consider.
"The focus at the moment is on 2019 and Eddie is absolutely focused on that. He has his contract until that time and that is where the discussion is. It is fair to say that it is something I need to be considering sooner rather than later."