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‘It is the worst and the lowest I’ve ever known it to be in my life’

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Former England captain Lawrence Dallaglio has pinpointed what he sees as the ‘worst aspect’ of the last 12 months for the national team under Eddie Jones.

Jones was told his reign was over at a meeting with Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney on Tuesday morning, paying the price for the national side’s worst year since 2008.

Forwards coach Richard Cockerill has been placed in charged on an interim basis, but it is expected to be a brief stewardship with the RFU believed to be seeking the release of Borthwick from his contract at Leicester where he is director of rugby.

A Tigers press conference scheduled for Tuesday afternoon was postponed until Friday, by which point Borthwick may have new employers.

Jones departs with the highest win record of any England coach on 73 per cent, but that number drops to 42 per cent in a dismal 2022 that consisted of six defeats, one draw and five wins.

It was this slump that convinced the RFU to act on the recommendation of the review panel investigating a dire autumn series that was bookended by losses to Argentina and South Africa.

The straw that may well have broken the camel’s back for Jones might have been the England team being booed by Twickenham at the final whistle after Jones’ men were pasted by the Boks. The boos were very much seen to be an indictment of the Jones regime, rather than a reflection on the players themselves.

Speaking about what the new coaching ticket needs to get right, Wasps great Dallaglio said that the relationship with England fans is at arguably its lowest-ever ebb.

“One of the worst aspects of the last 12 months under Eddie Jones is how the relationship between the England team and its supporters has deteriorated. We need much better communication under the new head coach,” Dallaglio told the Evening Standards Rugby Podcast.

“The messaging, the communication between the team – and the RFU – between team and fans needs to improve dramatically. Because there is no communication at the moment.

“It is the worst and the lowest I’ve ever known it to be in my life.

“If you want to get a group of people behind you, you need to let them know what you’re doing and you need to communicate that.

“It’s a very emotional game and fans need to hear it. They just need the truth.”

additional reporting PA


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