Eddie Jones agrees contract extension

England head coach Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones has pledged to help build a "sustainably successful team" after extending his contract until 2021.

The future head coach would work with Jones until mid-2021, before taking over to lead England into the 2023 World Cup in France.

"These are exciting times for English Rugby, with a focussed and committed squad who are full of potential and determined to win".

"The first priority is to win the World Cup and after that making sure the guy who is going to take over has a good team to be involved in, has a good structure and hopefully I can play a role in ensuring that happens".

But it is a role that Jones admitted previous year would interest him, even if his old adversary Warren Gatland fancies one more tour to complete the set after leading the touring side to a series win over Australia and historic draw with the All Blacks last summer. He took over England that November and began rebuilding the team with the 2019 trophy in his sights.

The 57-year-old has made it clear that anything other than winning the next global gathering will be regarded as a failure, although the RFU's chief executive, Steve Brown, refused to go into details about what outcome in Japan next year would activate the break clause.

England open their Six Nations title defence against Italy on February 3 but will be without flanker James Haskell, who has been banned for four weeks for a risky tackle in the Champions Cup.

England have won 22 of their 23 Test matches under Jones since he replaced Stuart Lancaster as head coach following their exit at the group stage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup on home soil.

While Jones remains non-committal on the Lions role, Brown confirmed that the terms of the new contract do not prohibit him from working with the Lions come 2021, which former CEO Ian Ritchie claimed was included under the original contract that was signed during his tenure.

Part of this deal sees the RFU appoint Jones' successor during the 2019-20 campaign, giving the chosen individual time to work alongside Jones to ease the transition from one coach to the next.

"Under Eddie's leadership, we have risen from eighth to second in the world - and Eddie won't be satisfied until we are number one".

"We now have a robust succession planning process in place which will avoid the historically disruptive pattern of resetting the coaching team and performance system every four years".

'Eddie will be a big part of this process, and wants to ensure a smooth handover to his successor'.

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