Jones had been due to step down after the 2019 World Cup but having overseen a run of 22 wins from 23 Tests, the England's Rugby Football Union have decided to extend the 57-year-old's tenure.

Eddie Jone, coach of the England's national rugby team has had his contract extended.
Eddie Jone, coach of the England's national rugby team has had his contract extended. (Reuters)

England coach Eddie Jones said winning the 2019 World Cup remained a "priority" after extending his contract until 2021, a move that tears up previous plans to step down after next year's showpiece in Japan.

The Australian's successor will be named by the end of the 2019-2020 season and Jones will work with them to ensure "a smooth coaching transition", the Rugby Football Union said Wednesday.

Jones had been due to step down after the World Cup but having overseen a run of 22 wins from 23 Tests, the RFU have decided to lengthen the 57-year-old's reign.

However, Jones's new contract does include a break clause which can be activated if England's performances at Japan 2019 fail to live up to expectations.

That will enable the RFU to cut the former Australia and Japan coach loose should England suffer a similar fate to their wretched 2015 World Cup campaign, when they became the first tournament hosts to exit the competition at the group stage -- a result that led the RFU to get rid of then coach Stuart Lancaster and bring in Jones.

Not a difficult decision

Jones, who had often talked about watching cricket in the Caribbean after the 2019 World Cup, as a way of signalling his departure from the England job, explained his change of heart by saying: "I did not presume I would be asked to stay on but, once the conversations started very recently, it was not a difficult decision to make.

"Coaching England is a dream job for me, and I was delighted to be asked to stay on after Rugby World Cup 2019," he added.

Jones told a Twickenham news conference later Wednesday: "I'm delighted to extend, it's quite exciting."

But Jones, Australia's coach when they lost the 2003 World Cup final to England, added: "The first priority is to win the World Cup and after that making sure the guy who is going to take over has a good team to be involved in, has a good structure and hopefully I can play a role in ensuring that happens."

Jones stressed he did now plan to bow out in 2021 and was unlikely to be tempted to stay at Twickenham any longer.

"I think that's probably enough for me and a good opportunity to bring another coach through."

Risen to second

Under Jones, England have risen to second in the global rankings behind reigning world champions New Zealand, with the Red Roses set to face the All Blacks in a hugely anticipated clash at Twickenham on November 10.

RFU chief executive Steve Brown said Jones' results "speak for themselves".

"Under Eddie's leadership, we have risen from eight to second in the world -- and Eddie won't be satisfied until we are number one," he said.

"He has a 95 percent win rate at the helm, and has been a galvanising force for the RFU, bringing focus, clarity and extraordinary commitment to the role."

Now the RFU will hope to avoid the disruption and indeed cost of having to enage in wholesale changes of coaching staff at the end of every four-year World Cup cycle.

Lancaster and assistant coaches Andy Farrell and Graham Rowntree were given new deals in the build-up to England 2015, only to leave Twickenham after the Red Roses' disastrous showing.

Jones is due to name reigning champions England's squad for the Six Nations Championship on Thursday.

Injury-hit England, bidding to win an unprecedented third successive outright Championship, begin their title defence away to Italy in Rome on February 4.

Source: AFP