18 Jan 2018

Jones extends contract

11:54 am on 18 January 2018

England head coach Eddie Jones has signed a contract extension to keep him in the role until 2021, working with his eventual successor in the final year.

England rugby coach Eddie Jones.

England rugby coach Eddie Jones. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Jones, who took over the reins in November 2015, was originally contracted until the end of the 2019 World Cup campaign and the new contract includes a break clause based on England's performance in Japan.

The 57-year-old Australian has led England to consecutive Six Nations triumphs as well as series wins in Australia and Argentina.

The RFU said a process for appointing Jones's eventual successor had been agreed.

"This is likely to involve appointing a new head coach by the end of the 2019/2020 season, with a view to a smooth coaching transition," it said.

The future head coach would work with Jones until mid-2021, before taking over to lead England into the 2023 World Cup in France.

Jones said he was delighted to be asked to stay on in what had become a dream job.

"I have been completely focussed on developing a team capable of being the number one rugby team in the world and winning the World Cup in 2019," he said in a statement.

"I never take my role as England head coach for granted and did not presume I would be asked to stay on, but, once the conversations started very recently, it was not a difficult decision to make."

Steve Brown, the RFU chief executive, said Jones's results spoke for themselves with the Australian enjoying a 95 percent win rate.

"Under Eddie's leadership, we have risen from eight to second in the world -- and Eddie won't be satisfied until we are number one," he said.

"We now have a robust succession planning process in place which will avoid the historically disruptive pattern of resetting the coaching team and performance system every four years," added Brown.

"Eddie will be a big part of this process, and wants to ensure a smooth handover to his successor."

Jones is set to name his squad on Thursday ahead of England's opening Six Nations match against Italy on Feb. 4.