Let me take you back to October 2015. England had just bombed out of our home World Cup with a humiliating 33-13 loss to Australia and we sunk to our lowest ever ranking of 8th in the world. I remember watching that match in the kitchen of my flat in Mayflower halls, I spent the whole match watching in disbelief as the team that I had invested my passion, devotion and hope into completely destroy everything they had been building since well Sir Clive Woodward left (although Martin Jones was not a good coach at all).
At the time the media were blaming not only the coaching staff and Stuart Lancaster but the individual players as well and I will hold my hands up and say I laid some of the blame at the players door, but I was wrong. Now, November 2016, Eddie Jones is at the helm of England’s ship and dear God is he steering us in the right direction.
As I am writing this, prior to the Australia game, England are on twelve wins from twelve games, Jones has not lost a game yet. Of course Jones’ success is not surprising, he created the biggest rugby upset of the 2015 World Cup. He was the coach of Japan when they defeated South Africa 34-32. The surprising thing about this is how quickly he has transformed our team, we went from our most embarrassing moment in rugby to the most impressive team we’ve seen in red and white since 2003 in 12 short months.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 30, 2016
Just to highlight the progression that England and Eddie have made in the last year here are some achievements that have taken place: England won their first grand slam in 13 years, England won their first ever test series in Australia and not only this but it was a 3-0 knockout and England are now ranked 2nd in the world ranking. This is not even scraping the surface, there have also been many improvements to player performances. I believe this is down to Jones’ high standards when it comes to choosing his side. He does not care if the players have had experience playing internationally or if they’re liked or hated by the media, he will choose them on merit and merit alone. This is why I think that the premiership sides are improving their performances as well, we had three English sides in the European Champions cup semi finals in 2015 which is very impressive. It seems all players are quite literally upping their game for the chance to play in Eddie’s England.
Of course Eddie does not coach on his own, he chose a skilled coaching team. Steve Borthwick, former Saracens and England lock, and Paul Gustard, former Saracens defence coach. They have obviously made their impacts upon the team also with both attack and defence being more aggressive and being performed with team work. However, Jones gets the final say on all decisions in the new England which is why the main media focus is upon him.
I am loving the England that we are seeing at the moment. They are a threat and each game is now thrilling and exciting rather than crushing and humiliating. Long live the coach, Eddie Jones.