England head coach Eddie Jones must be held accountable for their disastrous Six Nations campaign, but the priority should now be to address pressing issues within the team, former coach Clive Woodward said.
Saturday’s 32-18 defeat by Ireland was defending champions England’s third in the tournament and they are set to finish fifth, their joint-worst position since Italy joined the Six Nations in 2000.
It is the first time since 1976 that they have achieved a reverse triple crown of losing to Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
“It’s time for Eddie Jones to look in the mirror, not the window,” Woodward, who guided England to victory in the 2003 World Cup, wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“Somebody at the Rugby Football Union needs to ask some sharp questions of him. There is no respected rugby ‘brain’ asking the difficult questions.
“What’s going on? Why have England produced only one decent performance? Why is the England team not reflective of the fantastic talent we see in the Premiership?”
“There is so much England need to address and they need to start right now.”
England were poised to kick on after reaching the 2019 World Cup final, which they lost to South Africa, but now find themselves back to square one. Woodward said England had paid the price for complacency.
“Somebody at the RFU needed to badly investigate what went wrong in the World Cup final instead of automatically handing Jones another contract,” he said of the Australian and former Wallabies mentor.
“An inquest was needed. It was all too congratulatory when England returned from Japan and English rugby has paid a heavy price.”