England rugby still backing Eddie Jones despite five-Test losing streak


The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has come out in support of Jones in the wake of the latest loss, while the coach has blamed the series defeat on injuries, a rejuvenated Springbok side and the difficulty of playing tests in South Africa.

England's tour was in danger of unravelling last night as they were rocked by a fresh injury blow to Billy Vunipola, who returned to London after re-fracturing the arm that kept him on the sidelines for four months at the start of the year. "We're getting some hard lessons at the moment".

"We'll have to make sure we look back at it and see where we went wrong but there were some big moments in that game where we weren't composed enough and we will have to learn from it".

"Now we're going through this tough period".

They have lost their lost five games in-a-row (six including the Barbarians fixture) and will be desperately seeking to turn things around.

"An England side is always under pressure, whether you are winning or losing".

"It's just about sticking together, understanding what you can improve and the emotions of the situation".

Evidence that the tension is affecting both players and coach abounded at Free State Stadium, where Jones turned on a broadcaster by taking exception to the line of questioning.

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Rassie Erasmus was distinctly diplomatic about speculation that his Springbok team will be the last one to play a Test at Newlands this weekend.

He subsequently apologised on social media for conduct that was strongly criticised by Sir Clive Woodward in his role as a pundit.

South Africa brought on fresh props Steven Kitshoff and Thomas du Tolt early in the second half and they soon made their presence as the home team were awarded a penalty try after a scrum. If we do that we will get out of it.

Former England scrum-half Matt Dawson raised doubts about Jones' future in his post-match analysis on 5 live.

"There is no magic solution here", Jones told reporters in Bloemfontein. "We have been through an exceptional period and now we are going through a tough period", he said.

Cape Town will host the dead-rubber final Test next Saturday. "Everyone is going to fight hard to get out of this and you'll see an absolutely spirited effort in Cape Town".

His brother, also at Saracens, is returning to England for family reasons which were agreed with team management before the tour.