Eddie Jones has swatted aside doubt over his future by declaring he is ready to restore England to the summit of the game.
South Africa have already clinched the series 2-0 ahead of today’s final match at Newlands (4.05pm Irish time), while Jones’ tourists plunge down the global rankings due to a run of five consecutive Test defeats.
It is five months until England’s next assignment — also against the Springboks but this time at Twickenham — and Jones insists his sole aim is to oversee an end to the barren spell and not dispel speculation over his post.
“I don’t need to worry about my job. All I need to worry about is coaching better,” Jones said.
“We’re going through a renewal period. You go through a great period with a settled senior team. We don’t have that now. We are going through this renewal period and it’s tough.
“Someone has to take the team through it and I’m taking it through.”
Jones has returned to the location when he was first courted for the England job in the wake of Stuart Lancaster’s removal at the end of the 2015 World Cup, as the RFU secured his release barely two weeks into a contract with the Stormers. A reign that began with 17 straight wins and a remarkable 24 wins from 25 Tests is showing major fault lines.
Meanwhile Rassie Erasmus sees a bright future for scrum-half Embrose Papier in the Springbok colours, with the Bulls starlet starting on the bench today. .
His debut came in the 22-20 loss to Wales in Washington at the start of the month, and is likely to play some part off the bench behind the in-form Faf de Klerk today.
“Embrose is a guy that I’m very excited about, especially when the game opens up,” Erasmus said.
“He is lightning fast, probably one of the fastest guys in the team.
“Obviously at his age he has some work-ons in terms of his passing and box kicking, but he tackles really well and understands the defence system and is a natural attacker.”
This will be the final match staged at Newlands — the sport’s second oldest stadium behind Twickenham — before it is pulled down due to financial troubles.
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