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England urged to gain revenge on New Zealand… as RFU insist they will appoint a new coach by May

Eddie Jones’ England urged to gain revenge on New Zealand for Women’s Rugby World Cup final heartbreak… as RFU insist they remain on track to appoint a new head coach by May 

Eddie Jones’s England have been urged to get revenge on New Zealand on Saturday after it was revealed the successor to the Australian will be appointed by May at the latest.

England’s Red Roses were beaten by New Zealand’s Black Ferns in a thrilling World Cup final at Auckland’s Eden Park.

The two sides meet again in the men’s game at Twickenham this weekend.

Eddie Jones will move on as England head coach at the conclusion of next year’s World Cup

Eddie Jones will move on as England head coach at the conclusion of next year’s World Cup

Jones’ boss – RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney – has urged the side to learn from their female counterparts as a crunch clash with the All Blacks looms into view.

‘It’s a good idea,’ said Sweeney, when asked if he hoped England’s men’s side could avenge the women’s side heartbreaking 34-31 reversal at Eden Park. ‘I’ll mention it to Eddie.’

Jones will move on as England head coach at the conclusion of next year’s World Cup in France.

La Rochelle boss and former Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara has already expressed his interest in the England job

La Rochelle boss and former Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara has already expressed his interest in the England job

La Rochelle boss and former Ireland fly-half Ronan O’Gara has already expressed his interest in the position while New Zealander Scott Robertson remains one of rugby’s hottest coaching prospects. 

Leicester’s Premiership-winning boss Steve Borthwick, a former assistant of Jones, is the leading English contender for the country’s top rugby job.

‘We’re still on the same track. We said we’d announce in May,’ Sweeney said of England’s head coach recruitment process.

‘It could be earlier than that. It’s in good shape. We’ve got a list of candidates we think could do a very good job. It’s not just the head coach, it’s the whole coaching set-up.

‘It has to be the best coach, the right coach for the job. If it was an English person it makes life a bit easier. The first priority is it’s got to be the right person.

‘If they are English then that’s great.’

Sweeney watched the Red Roses’ 30-match unbeaten run come to an end at the hands of New Zealand but was full of praise for Simon Middleton’s team.

‘They are really accessible and just very grateful for everything that’s going on,’ said Sweeney, who will hold talks with Middleton over his future and didn’t rule out a woman taking on the role. ‘Whether that’s because of where they are in terms of the evolution of the game I’m not sure. The men’s game tends to be a bit more serious, intense and structured.

‘They want to engage and promote the game and do their best for it.’

England were edged out 34-31 by New Zealand in the Women's Rugby World Cup final

England were edged out 34-31 by New Zealand in the Women’s Rugby World Cup final

England will host the next World Cup in 2025 and even though Sweeney’s team fell just short in New Zealand, the thrilling nature of this year’s final is set to ignite the women’s game.

‘There are only three years to go, it’s not the normal four-year cycle,’ Sweeney said.

‘We’ll fill Twickenham. We’ll get 82,000 people there for the final and hopefully for the semi-final as well. I’m confident we’ll do that. The game is growing in appeal now.

‘Watching that match you didn’t feel it was a women’s rugby match. It was a competitive, highly intense sporting event. In many respects it was probably more entertaining than the men’s game. It was more open, with fewer stoppages and more ball-in-play time.

‘We’re not concerned about being able to fill Twickenham.’


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