Jones appointed England head coach


Eddie Jones has been named as England's first overseas head coach on a four-year contract.

The 55-year-old Australian only started work as Stormers coach this month after almost guiding Japan to the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup for the first time.

But former Australia coach Jones has now opted to make a return to international rugby as successor to Stuart Lancaster, whose reign ended by mutual consent following England's failure at the World Cup on home soil.

Rugby Football Union chief executive Ian Ritchie spoke of the importance of appointing a head coach with proven international experience and Jones fits the bill.

He was shortlisted for World Rugby's Coach of the Year award - which was won by Australia's Michael Cheika - after Japan won three of their four Pool B matches in the World Cup, including a sensational victory over South Africa.

Jones was in charge of the Australia side which lost the World Cup final against England on home soil in 2003 and was assistant coach of the Springboks when they lifted the Webb Ellis Cup four years later.

A number of touted replacements had already ruled themselves out of the running, including Cheika and Wales coach Warren Gatland, who masterminded a crucial win over England at Twickenham in September.

Jones' tenure officially begins in December, with England set to begin their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6.

"Firstly my thanks must go to Rob Wagner and everyone at Western Province Rugby for understanding my decision and allowing me to return to the international stage so quickly," said Jones.  

"The opportunity to take the reins in, possibly, the world's most high profile international rugby job doesn't come along every day however, and I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity.

"I'm now looking forward to working with the RFU and the players to move beyond the disappointment England suffered at the World Cup and hope to build a new team that will reflect the level of talent that exists within the English game. I believe the future is bright for England."