The sacking of England head coach Eddie Jones by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) less than a year before the World Cup is “incredibly disappointing” captain Owen Farrell told the BBC.
Farrell played an integral role in Jones’s successes during his seven year tenure — winning the Six Nations championship three times (including the 2016 Grand Slam) and reaching the 2019 World Cup final.
However, a poor 2022 saw the RFU fire outspoken Australian Jones last Tuesday after presiding over England’s worst year since 2008, the team losing six out of 12 Tests, with five wins and a draw.
Farrell, though, said the players share the blame for that dire set of results which “doesn’t happen because of one person, it’s everyone”.
“It’s unbelievably disappointing,” said Farrell.
“Eddie had been a big part of England Rugby for a long time now and he has been one of the best coaches I have ever had so, for that, I’m massively thankful.
“We are disappointed it has finished early and we owe a lot to him.
“I have been around for a while now and not been around too many changes, both at club and international level. It’s not pleasant to go through.”
There have been claims that one of the reasons for 62-year-old Jones’s dismissal was due to losing the dressing room.
Farrell — who in the past year had been moved into the centres by Jones to accomodate lively fly-half Marcus Smith — said to his knowledge that was not the case.
“I don’t think it has come from the players,” said the 31-year-old fly-half.
“There is obviously stuff we all want to get better at from the results but as players you look at yourself and see what you can do.”
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