RFU bosses remain steady behind Eddie – despite revising Six Nations verdict

So Eddie Jones’ bosses were, after all, disappointed with England’s Six Nations flop. Massively frustrated , in fact.

Not as “encouraged by the solid progress” of a team winning only twice as they made out on Sunday.

Less thrilled with the “strong positive steps forward” than their bizarre statement claimed as they left France’s Grand Slam party.

Bill Sweeney, chief executive of the Rugby Football Union, faced the music yesterday and said he 100 per cent understood the frustration of England fans.

“My email box will tell you I absolutely totally get it,” he said. “It's pretty difficult for me to go into to a social environment at the moment and not have a comment about rugby.”

He admitted his organisation should have recognised the fans’ pain before banging on about progress which few are actually able to see.

And, yet, does it change his view that Jones remains the right man to take England to next year’s World Cup? It does not.

In fact, despite six defeats in 10 Six Nations matches, Sweeney says Jones can not only win the 2023 Six Nations but we “expect” to play for the Grand Slam on the final weekend.

"It's not just emotional or blind faith. No-one is bulletproof. No-one is indispensable. But he's got that team going in the direction that we think it wants to go."

Wishful thinking is never in short supply with England, it is detail and transparency that is rather harder to find.

As World Cup winner Paul Grayson put it in Wednesday's Daily Mirror, "What we have is the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain. Smoke and mirrors. Look in the opposite direction, everything’s alright”.

We are still no nearer knowing who is on the advisory panel which supposedly monitors and reviews the England set-up.

Nor to understanding why exactly England have not hired serial Grand Slam-winning English coach Shaun Edwards.

Sweeney revealed that he met him 18 months ago and asked if the RFU had ever approached him. Edwards’ reply: “Someone called me but it wasn’t a serious call and wasn’t followed up”.

Ah, right.

Still, Sweeney contends that “we're in a better place than we were a year ago”.

There are no shortage of folk wanting to believe that. It’s just that it takes a bit of doing.

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