England could be open to the possibility of Eddie Jones staying beyond the 2019 World Cup and are willing to look overseas once again if the Australian does step down.
While there have been no discussions with Jones over his future once his four-year contract has expired, the Rugby Football Union has already turned its attention towards succession planning.
The mastermind of nine straight victories in a flawless record at the helm intends “watching cricket in Barbados” once Japan 2019 is over and upon his appointment last November declared that grooming an English successor is a “fundamental” part of his role.
However, if no suitable candidate emerges, both scenarios of extending Jones’ tenure and recruiting from overseas will be considered by RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie.
“Eddie’s contract ending in 2019 is certainly the discussion that we had, but it’s up to him. Who can tell what happens over the next three years or so?” Ritchie said.
“I’m working on the assumption of 2019 because that’s what we did the deal on in the first place.
“As it moves and develops, no doubt we’ll sit down and discuss it together. I do think it’s early doors.
“I think when we get nearer to it, and it depends on how he sees it, if he’s changed his mind, and whether we want to ask.
“When Eddie came in there was a discussion about his assistants being English and we’ve got to get a situation of better integrated coach development.
“We’ll be happy if there is an English coach who stands up to that. If we haven’t, we’ll need to go back to someone with proven international experience.”