(Reuters) – England coach Eddie Jones will see out the remaining two years of his contract while defence coach John Mitchell has extended his deal until after this year’s World Cup, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) said on Thursday.
Jones’ contract runs until 2021 with the original plan that he would mentor his successor for two years but British media reported the Australian could leave if England do not reach the latter stages of the World Cup in Japan.
“Eddie has reconfirmed his commitment to stay through to 2021,” RFUCEO Bill Sweeney said in a statement https://www.englandrugby.com/news/england-rugby-coaches-john-mitchell-eddie-jones-stay-until-2021.
“The focus is on the World Cup and then making sure we get our plans in place post World Cup. We’ve started conversations of what the coaching structure will look like coming back from Japan and Eddie has a number of names in the frame.
“We haven’t approached them yet, and we wouldn’t contract anyone pre-World Cup, but he has in mind how he would like to structure that when back from Japan.”
The RFU said it had extended Mitchell’s contract so that it goes through to June 2021.
New Zealander Mitchell, an England assistant coach between 1997 and 2000 under Clive Woodward for 33 Tests, was named defence coach in Sept. 2018.
“This is the right decision for me especially given 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,” Mitchell said.
Since he joined the senior side, England have won six, drawn one and lost two tests.
England play Wales on Aug. 11 and 17, Ireland on Aug. 24 and then face Italy in a final World Cup warm-up game on Sept. 6.
They kick off their World Cup Pool C campaign against Tonga on Sept. 22.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)