December 18, 2019 / 4:52 AM / 2 months ago

No rush to nail down decision on Jones contract, says RFU chief

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - The Killik Cup - Barbarians v Fiji - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 16, 2019 Barbarians head coach Eddie Jones before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

(Reuters) - England are in no rush to make a decision on extending head coach Eddie Jones’s contract up to the next World Cup, Rugby Football Union (RFU) Chief Executive Bill Sweeney has said, despite the Australian’s current deal expiring in 2021.

Jones took over in 2015 and guided England to the World Cup final in November where they were beaten by South Africa, with Sweeney later saying he could continue in his role for the full four-year cycle heading into the 2023 tournament in France.

Following a World Cup review last month, Sweeney said the RFU would keep an open mind about the 59-year-old’s contract situation.

“It has to work for both sides... if it’s the right thing for him to stay, he wants to stay and we want him to stay, it’ll go that way,” Sweeney told reporters.

“Why would you do that now? New Zealand have just appointed Ian Foster on a two-year contract. Rassie Erasmus came in (as South Africa coach) 18 months before the World Cup.

“Is it better to have someone there for the entire four-year period before the World Cup? It may well be ... but I wouldn’t say there’s a date in the diary when we have to make a decision otherwise we’re not going to be ready for France.”

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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