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Rugby: England dismiss Eddie Jones as head coach 9 months from World Cup

Eddie Jones. (Kyodo)

LONDON (Kyodo) -- England's Rugby Football Union on Tuesday announced the dismissal of head coach Eddie Jones, a little more than nine months before the World Cup in France.

    Jones steered England to second place at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, but pressure was growing on the 62-year-old Australian after England only beat Japan in their four tests last month, drawing with New Zealand and losing to Argentina and South Africa.

    In his previous role as Japan coach, Jones helped the Brave Blossoms reach new heights, including their historic victory over South Africa at the 2015 World Cup, dubbed the "Miracle of Brighton."

    The 62-year-old Jones "has the highest win ratio of any previous England head coach and has helped develop the leadership skills of many players and coaches," said Bill Sweeney, CEO of the union.

    "I am grateful to Eddie for all he has done for England across many areas of the game and the professional way in which he has approached reviewing the performance of the team. He has provided the panel with astute insight and meaningful lessons that will support the team performance going forward."

    British media have tipped former England international Steve Borthwick as Jones' likely successor. Previously Jones' assistant with England and Japan, Borthwick also coached club side Leicester to a domestic title.

    England will meet Japan along with Argentina, Samoa and Chile in Pool D at the World Cup kicking off next September.

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