England rugby

RFU to ask Eddie Jones to take a pay cut as pandemic hits finances

The RFU is facing revenue losses in the region of £45-50million over the next 18 months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Discussions are being held with Jones and his coaching assistants over a reduction in salary, the PA news agency understands.

Jones is the highest paid coach in international rugby, earning in the region of £750,000 per year.

The 60-year-old’s current deal expires in July 2021 and as yet there has been no move to extend his contract until the next World Cup in 2023.

RFU announces £7million aid package for grassroots clubs

Following a virtual board meeting on Wednesday of the governing body running the game in England, CEO Bill Sweeney issued a letter outlining how they hope to tackle the crisis that led to the termination of the 2019/20 season last Friday for all levels of the game below the Gallagher Premiership.

“I am writing to advise you of the actions that have been agreed to offer a support package directly funded from the RFU worth £7m to provide support for community clubs in England,” he said. 

Lawes free to play but Tuilagi cops ban

England centre Tuilagi also appeared before an independent Disciplinary Committee in Dublin having received a red card in the match on 7 March in Twickenham. The red card was issued for an infringement of Law 9.16 (dangerous charge) when, in the 75th minute of the match, he tackled the Wales No.14, George North.

Tuilagi accepted that he had committed an act of foul play but did not accept that it warranted a red card.

Manu Tuilagi injury theory circulating after centre lasts just 15 minutes

Tuilagi lasted just 15 minutes against the French before being removed from the action.

There was no obvious incident leading to the injury and many were left questioning how fit the centre was coming into the game.

The fact that England head coach Eddie Jones had picked centres on the bench seemed to confirm for many that Tuilagi wasn’t fit coming into the game.

Both Jonathan Joseph and Ollie Devoto were named on the bench, suggesting Jones was expecting that Tuilagi wasn’t likely to finish the match.

England fined 'four-figure' sum for v-shaped formation in response to haka

The Guardian reports England have been fined a four-figure sum for breaching World Rugby regulations, which say opponents must not cross the halfway line while the challenge is being performed. At least six England players could be seen in television coverage breaking that rule.

The Guardian added the fine is less than the one France received in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final. They were made to pay NZ$5000 for their v-shaped formation, which also went over the halfway line.

Eddie Jones burns Gatland over barbed comment ahead of World Cup final

Gatland was speaking after his team had been beaten 19-16 by South Africa, who now face Jones’s men on Saturday in a repeat of the 2007 showpiece.

Meanwhile, Wales face the All Blacks in the bronze final 24 hours earlier – which was Gatland’s last match as boss.

“Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off?” Jones said at a press conference.

Jones names his top lineup to face All Blacks

That had been his preferred tactic in the pool phase of the tournament, when Ford was outstanding. But he dropped the Leicester man to the bench for the quarter-final win over Australia, against whom Jones said he had been "spectacular" after coming on during the second half.

Manu Tuilagi moves to centre while the pack is the same as against Australia, with the only other change being on the bench where Mark Wilson replaces Lewis Ludlam as back row cover.

England into semis with 40-16 win over Australia

It'll be the first time in 12 years that England have played in the semifinals of a Rugby World Cup.

Four years after the Wallabies sent England packing out of their own tournament, Eddie Jones's side gained a measure of revenge, while extending their winning streak over the Australians to seven matches.

Australia played a full part in an engrossing contest but in the end were well beaten by a team who defended stoutly, took their chances ruthlessly and had a flyhalf in Owen Farrell who managed the game maturely and kicked flawlessly for 20 points.

Eddie Jones makes surprise call in the halves for England's quarterfinal showdown

Coach Eddie Jones has made three changes in personnel and two positional switches in pursuit of a semi-final against either New Zealand or Ireland.

Mako Vunipola is restored at loosehead prop after successfully making his latest comeback from a hamstring injury against Argentina. England’s last outing after their Pool C finale against France was cancelled due to stormy weather.

Vunipola’s return means Joe Marler drops to the bench where he joins second row George Kruis, who has lost his place in the starting XV to Courtney Lawes.

Billy Vunipola facing decisive moment for quarterfinal availability

Vunipola is rated “very likely” to be available for the Oita Stadium showdown on Saturday as he recovers from the ankle injury sustained against Argentina.

England will be desperate to field their bulldozing number eight as they bid to complete a seventh successive victory over Australia under Eddie Jones but only have one full practice session left before the team is announced.

Vunipola was rated doubtful for the last-eight clash but on Tuesday completed running, cycling, wrestling and boxing drills as his recovery took another significant step forward.