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Eddie Jones picks out his biggest mistake as England head coach

Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones has identified his continued selection of Saracens players in 2021 as the biggest mistake he made as England head coach.

Steve Borthwick has taken over as England’s head coach, after Jones was relieved of his duties after a disappointing couple of years in which his team endured two poor Six Nations campaigns.

2022 proved to be the worst year of Jones’ reign, as England won just five of their 12 test matches, although the experienced Australian coach has identified 2021 as the turning point.

Speaking to French publication Midi Olympique, Jones admitted that he regretted continuing to select so many Saracens players after the club had been relegated to the Championship for breaching the Premiership’s salary cap.

Eddie Jones on his selection of relegated Saracens stars.

“We always make mistakes. If today I could go back in time, maybe I would change some of my selection criteria,” Jones admitted.

“2021 was a very bad year for us. Saracens had just been demoted to the second division. As you probably know, the 15 of England was then mainly formed by players from Sarries.

“The problem is that their level had dropped considerably in the second division and that the performances of our national team immediately suffered from it.

“So I should have changed my tune that year. And I regret it, this is the mistake I made.”

Saracens’ demotion was felt hard.

Although Saracens unsurprisingly won promotion back to the Premiership at the first time of asking, those who remained at the North London club for their season in exile missed out on valuable top level game time.

The club’s England contingent were seriously undercooked by the time the 2021 Six Nations rolled around, as the Championship season didn’t even start until March due to Covid-related issues.

Saracens are once again dining at the top table with many of the same players from before their demotion to the Championship, although there’s no doubting that many of the club’s best personnel suffered a dip in form last year.

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