Eddie Jones begins England overhaul after Rugby World Cup defeat ‘this team is finished’

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Eddie Jones admits the current England cycle is finished and he will be looking to the future.

Eddie Jones will begin the process of refreshing the England team in the Six Nations with an eye on the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The Australian has promised to tailor his squad with the next cycle in rugby union’s global calendar in mind.

“I tell you what happens to teams – they evolve. Some guys will lose desire, some guys will lose fitness, some guys will get injuries, and there’ll be young guys come through,” said Jones.

“So this team is finished now. We’ll make a new team for the Six Nations and that new team for the Six Nations will be the basis of going to the next World Cup.”

However wholesale changes are unlikely given how many of the current side will still be available for France in four years’ time.

Indeed the first-choice side for the next World Cup could bear a striking resemblance to the one for Japan 2019.

There were only two 30-year-olds in the starting team against South Africa – scrum-half Ben Youngs and second row Courtney Lawes.

While there must be question marks over the durability of some of the others given their injury history – Manu Tuilagi springs to mind – two-thirds of the England line-up from Yokohama could have the chance to go one step further in France.

Owen Farrell, fitness permitting, would still be in contention to captain the side. He would be 32 by then.

England: Daly: Watson, Marchant, Farrell (capt), Cokanasiga; Ford, Spencer; M Vunipola, George, Sinckler, Kruis, Itoje, Curry, Underhill, B Vunipola.

Eddie Jones – 6. Shuffled his deck with early second half substitutions but could not change the course of a game in which his side failed to reach semifinal heights by a long way. Sour end to a skilfully-orchestrated World Cup campaign.

Tournament – 8.

Elliot Daly – 5. Defensive kicking ragged and rarely seen in attack for England in the final. Overall though, he justified Eddie Jones’s faith in him as a World Cup full-back having made significant strides under the high ball.

Tournament – 7.

Anthony Watson – 5. Little opportunity to shine and gave away dumb shoulder charge penalty. A blot on a tournament in which he again looked like the Lions wing of 2017 with great footwork plus added power.

Tournament – 7.

Manu Tuilagi – 6. Defensively sound but could not break the shackles of the superb Springbok defence even with his power. A blessing he was at Japan 2019 at all after all his injury problems.

Tournament – 7.

Owen Farrell – 5. Defiant as ever but contributor to the sloppiness of England’s performance and second half penalty miss important. Captained the side well during the World Cup but did not hit personal heights.

Tournament – 6.

Jonny May – 6. Good in the air and looked dangerous on rare occasions he received the ball in space at the end of a tournament in which he showed he is a long way removed from the rapid but raw wing that first hit the Test scene.

Tournament – 7.

George Ford – 5. Got the shepherd’s crook early from Eddie Jones. Decision-making not at his sharpest and tactical kicking off key which was a disappointing finish to a strong World Cup for the stand-off.

Tournament – 7.

Ben Youngs – 5. Erratic distribution in the final did not help England’s cause as his third and almost certainly his last World Cup ended with a whimper in Yokohama. Became England’s most-capped back in Japan.

Tournament – 6.

Mako Vunipola – 4. Most of England’s issues were on the other side of the scrum but he was subbed off early after being pressured by the Springboks and penalised by Jerome Garces. Truncated tournament because of injury.

Tournament – 6.

Jamie George – 4. Tough night at the scrum against grizzly Springbok pack and not his usual self in the loose. Emerged as a significant influence on this England team over the past six weeks.

Tournament – 6.

Kyle Sinckler – 6. Knocked out in his first involvement in the game as he was caught by Maro Itoje. A cruel end to a campaign in which he established himself as a world-class modern-day prop.

Tournament – 8.

Maro Itoje – 7. Great defensive shift in adversity with a couple of big ones thrown in for good measure but unable to stop the Springboks single-handedly. Centrepiece of the England pack for years to come.

Tournament – 8.

Courtney Lawes – 5. Struggled to make an impact before being replaced by George Kruis at half time. Decent World Cup overall with his ball carrying matching his powerful defence.

Tournament – 6.

Tom Curry – 6. World player of the year nominee put himself about with his usual gusto but to much less effect against Bok heavyweights. Lessons to learn but at 21 an incredible personal tournament.

Tournament – 7.

Sam Underhill – 8. Tremendous tackling stint kept England in the final and carried hard too. One of the players of the World Cup in energetic tandem with his back row partner in crime Curry.

Tournament – 8.

Billy Vunipola – 6. Mixed bag with some effective carries and offloads but some loose stuff too. Not quite the influence overall in the tournament England would have hoped for from their mighty No 8.

Tournament – 6.

Replacements: Cowan-Dickie 6 (7), Marler 7 (7), Cole 3 (5), Kruis 6 (7), Wilson 6 (7), Slade 6 (6), Spencer 6 (6), Joseph 6 (6).

(tournament marks in brackets).

: le Roux 7; Kolbe 6, Am 7, de Allende 7, Mapimpi 7; Pollard 7, de Klerk 7; Mtawarira 9, Mbonambi 6, Malherbe 8, Etzebeth 7, de Jager 7, Kolisi 6, du Toit 6, Vermeulen 9. Replacements: Marx 8, Kitshoff 8, Koch 8, Snyman 6, Mostert 8, Louw 6, Jantjies 6, Steyn 6.

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