RFU chief confirms Eddie Jones will remain England head coach until 2021

13 June 2019, 12:38 | Updated: 13 June 2019, 13:16

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney says Eddie Jones intends to see out the remaining two years of his contract as England head coach.

Sweeney also confirmed defence coach John Mitchell has extended his contract until 2021 to fall into line with Jones.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has ruled out succeeding Jones but Sweeney admits it is possible the Australian could continue in the role beyond 2021.

"It is possible, we are not looking at that at this stage," said Sweeney.

"The focus now is really on the World Cup and then making sure we get our plans in place post World Cup.

"Eddie has reconfirmed his commitment through to 2021. We have lots of conversations on that and he has said he wants to stay through to the end of that contracted period.

"So from that prospective we've already started conversations around what will the structure and look of that coaching team be coming back from Japan.

"He has got a number of names in the frame. We haven't approached them yet. We wouldn't contract anyone pre-World Cup.

"But he has got in mind how he would like to structure that as soon as we get back. We would confirm it immediately as soon as we got back."

Kiwi defence specialist Mitchell joined Jones' coaching staff prior to last year's autumn internationals, having previously served as England assistant coach between 1997 and 2000.

Since his return England have won six, drawn one and lost two Tests, conceding an average of 17 points per game.

"I am delighted and privileged to be recommitting to England Rugby until 2021," said Mitchell.

"This is the right decision for me especially given the RFU's investment in me over the last year and what I have been able to add and learn so far, and will continue to do in the future."

Former British Olympic Association [BOA] chief executive Sweeney has joined the RFU in a bid to reverse serious financial troubles suffered by the English game's governing body.

Former chief executive Steve Brown lost his job over hefty cuts that led to scores of job losses.

But Sweeney insists there is no crisis at the RFU.

"It's definitely not a crisis; there's no financial crisis here," said Sweeney. "The similarities with the BOA are there, it's a cyclical business.

"You'd expect to have a loss-making year in the year coming up. It's not a financial crisis.

"The business model at the RFU is inherently very healthy, we generate a lot of cash, a lot of revenue and if you keep your costs in control there's no reason why that should be a fragile business plan. So it's inherently strong.

"Stabilising the financial situation is a key priority. It's not in as bad a situation as perhaps I would have expected it to be quite frankly, having read a number of things coming in.

"The team here has done a really good job over the last 18 months already, taking quite a bit of cost out of the operation."