England Rugby mens coach Eddie Jones extends contract till 2023 WC #56900

Ross Houston
April 7, 2020

Wayde van Niekerk says it was "an fantastic inspiration" to see South Africa win the Rugby World Cup - especially as the team contained friends and family.

'I don't think this group can have another World Cup in them, ' Jones told BBC Sport.

If he sees out his deal, Jones will become longest-serving coach of the national team - surpassing Clive Woodward's spell in charge from 1997-2004.

And while the team beaten by South Africa was the youngest to reach a World Cup final, numerous key players - for example Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Owen Farrell and Jonny May - will be into their 30s come 2023, while the likes of Ben Youngs and Courtney Lawes will be 34.

The coronavirus crisis has shown the need for a radical overhaul of rugby union on a global scale, says RFU boss Bill Sweeney.

"The extension is a great honour for me, but in the current environment, it is only right to acknowledge what a hard time the world is facing".

'There will be another 20 per cent change in the second year and another 20 per cent in the third year.

"But the circumstances are right", he added. We set out four years ago to be the best team in the world and unfortunately we missed that by 80 minutes.

"We were the youngest team ever to play in a World Cup final, so if those players have the desire and want to keep working and improving then we are going to be in a good position because we are going to have a hell of a competition for spots".

Under Jones, England also has won two Six Nations titles - including the Grand Slam in 2016 - and had an 18-match winning run, matching New Zealand's record for a tier-one side.

"I'm quite close friends with a few players and it's great to see how their lives have changed and the blessings and the sponsors and so on that are coming their way".

Tindall, who was part of Woodward's World Cup-winning side in 2003, believes that particular goal may be overly optimistic, but is confident Jones can build a side capable of winning the 2023 World Cup.

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