Australian Eddie Jones will take over the English rugby team after an embarrassing World Cup run that saw the hosts crash out in the pool stages.
Jones, 55, succeeds Stuart Lancaster, who resigned after the tournament, saying “we didn’t achieve success on the field when it mattered, and we all have to take responsibility for that, but me especially.”
During the World Cup, Jones coached Japan to their best ever performance, including a famous 34-32 victory over South Africa, as well as wins over Samoa and the United States.
Jones had agreed terms with South African side The Stormers, but said that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to helm England.
“Firstly my thanks must go to Rob Wagner and everyone at Western Province Rugby for understanding my decision and allowing me to return to the international stage so quickly,” Jones said in a statement.
“The opportunity to take the reins in, possibly, the world’s most high profile international rugby job doesn’t come along every day however, and I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity.
“I’m now looking forward to working with the RFU and the players to move beyond the disappointment England suffered at the World Cup and hope to build a new team that will reflect the level of talent that exists within the English game. I believe the future is bright for England.”
RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie said: “We promised to recruit a coach with proven international experience and we have done that.
“Eddie is a world-class coach, with extensive experience at the highest level with Australia, South Africa and Japan. We believe that the appointment, which was unanimously approved by the RFU Board, is the right one to bring England success in the short, medium and long term.”