World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward has led the praise for Eddie Jones after the Australian guided England to the Six Nations rugby title at his first attempt.
Just five months after their home World Cup pool stage exit debacle, unbeaten England clinched the Six Nations with a round to spare when Scotland toppled France 29-18 on Sunday.
Signed late last year to resurrect England’s fortunes, coach Jones was credited for the turnaround as England celebrated their first Six Nations crown since 2011.
“Really massive congrats to @EnglandRugby 4/4 and championship win is a serious turnaround from RWC shambles – Eddie Jones 10/10 brilliant” tweeted Woodward, the man who led England to the World Cup with victory over Jones’ Wallabies in the 2003 final in Sydney.
Jones has already turned his attention to capping the campaign by completing the Six Nations grand slam with victory over France in Paris on Saturday – a feat England last achieved early in their 2003 World Cup year.
He will then bring his Six Nations champions to Australia in June to play his former club teammate Michael Cheika’s World Cup finalist Wallabies in a highly-anticipated three-Test series.
Jones admitted celebrations at the England squad’s Surrey training base were restrained in the wake of the title confirmation.
“The emotions were a bit mixed to be honest,” Jones said.
“It’s obviously nice to win the championship, but as a team we feel like we haven’t achieved what we want to achieve and that’s the grand slam.
“If we prepare well, we’ll do the business. We’ll go to Paris confident.
“Winning the title is a fantastic achievement by the team. The squad is still very much the same one from the World Cup, so that squad has changed themselves and the real credit goes to the players.”
England’s success ended a run of four successive runners-up finishes in the Six Nations.
World Cup-winning halfback Mat Dawson joined in the plaudits.
“A fab 4 years ahead for @EnglandRugby plenty of silverware already and only just the beginning. #rollon2019 Well done boys… #RBS6Nations”.