Steve Brown: Eddie Jones a 'wider force for good for English rugby'

Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

Eddie Jones was heralded as a "wider force for good for English rugby" on the day he extended his contract by a further two years but the RFU CEO Steve Brown did not disclose the details of the performance related break clause in the England coach's new deal.

Jones was originally meant to leave his role with England following the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and throughout his tenure has been adamant that he would not be swayed by the offer of an extension. But a change of heart has seen him extend his contract with the Rugby Football Union until August 2021.

Steve Brown, the RFU CEO, said Jones is a "wider force for good for English rugby" and said he had never worked "with anyone who is so committed to one single cause".

The RFU emphasised the challenge of winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup remains paramount, before thoughts turn to Jones' successor.

For the final season of that contract, for the 2020-21 campaign, Jones will work with his replacement and will have an active role in choosing the right man to replace him as England coach.

"I was never arrogant or presumptuous enough to think I was going to be offered something beyond the end of the contract," Jones said of his previous reluctance to commit beyond 2019. "I went away for Christmas, came back refreshed. Steve [Brown, RFU CEO] and I had a chat and I could see the value I could bring to that situation and it was an easy decision to make in the end.

"That's enough for me [the contract until 2021]. It's a good opportunity to bring through another coach and make sure they come into a successful team and keep making England successful."

Brown was not drawn on whether Jones' successor should be English, saying "we want the best coach for England", nor would he disclose the precise details of the performance-based break clause in the contract.

"It's an employment contract and there are elements of that that are confidential," Brown said. "We are clear on what that means and what the outcome is. The focus is on winning it [RWC2019] and that's where our energies are going."