Eddie Jones looks set to discover on Tuesday whether he will continue in his role as England head coach, with speculation mounting that he will be sacked after presiding over the national team’s worst year since 2008.
Jones is fighting for his future after overseeing a disappointing 2023, consisting of six defeats, a draw and five wins and ending with a comprehensive loss to South Africa on November 26.
The Rugby Football Union’s review of a dismal Autumn Nations Series is understood to have concluded, with the RFU board now ready to ratify its decision.
That will be followed by a public announcement revealing whether the 62-year-old Australian will continue until the World Cup, which takes place in September-October, after which his reign – which began in 2015 – is contracted to end.
If he does not remain in the role, then the RFU will need to appoint a successor, with Leicester head coach and former England forwards specialist Steve Borthwick the front-runner.
New Zealander Warren Gatland had also been linked with the post, but committed to a second term as Wales head coach on Monday following Wayne Pivac’s departure from that job.
The review panel has regularly presented to the board during its investigation into what went wrong during an autumn that opened with defeat to Argentina, produced a solitary victory over Japan and a draw with New Zealand before signing off with an abject collapse against the Springboks.
With the World Cup in France looming, England have left it late to potentially change their coach, yet the RFU may feel it has no alternative but to act.
And that could open the door for 43-year-old Cumbrian Borthwick, who skippered England during a 57-cap England career.
He was appointed Leicester boss in 2020, and has overseen a startling transformation in the Tigers’ fortunes, highlighted by a Gallagher Premiership title triumph last season.
The RFU has been contacted for comment by the PA news agency.