Will the coach loosen the pragmatic shackles enough for the team to express itself more freely, especially in attack?
It is a weekend of anniversaries: 150 years since England and Scotland first contested a game of rugby and exactly five years since Eddie Jones kicked off his tenure as England’s head coach. If much has changed since 1871, there has also been progress since 6 February 2016 when Jones embarked down the winding, unpredictable road familiar to all elite coaching gurus.
A World Cup final, three Six Nations titles, one grand slam, the Autumn Nations Cup: given the shell-shocked state of English rugby in the aftermath of a premature Rugby World Cup exit, he can definitely claim to have steered the Rugby Football Union out of a tight corner. After 59 Tests Jones has an 80% winning record – W47 D1 L11 – and an eventful highlights reel. From the flooring of New Zealand in Yokohama in 2019 to being abused en route back from Scotland in 2018, there have been more peaks and troughs than Bass Strait with a strong southerly blowing.