Ruthless Eddie Jones has taken English rugby from the depths of despair to one of its all-time highs
- Eddie Jones has masterminded England's incredible 3-0 win down under
- Tourists added gloss to series score with monumental 44-40 win in Sydney
- Slaying of Aussies comes eight months after Red Rose's World Cup flop
- England playing with clear minds under coach happy to make tough calls
A massive day for English rugby and a big day for English sport. It is impossible to over-emphasise the importance of a 3-0 series win in Australia and we will be recalling the manner of England's victories and the quality of their rugby for many years.
At the end of an extraordinary season which has included one of the lowest lows in English rugby history, it felt a little surreal celebrating one of the all-time high points. But that is exactly how far England have come in six months under Eddie Jones.
There is still a long way to go yet - England must continue apace after a summer break and RWC2019 is still a long way off - but we should pause briefly to take it all in and enjoy the moment before re-booting and going again.
Eddie Jones (left), with Dylan Hartley, has seen his hardline approach vindicated by the triumph down under
Beating Australia 3-0 in their own back yard could be the start of a prosperous era for England under Jones
WORLD CLASS EDDIE ON A MISSION
There is no mystery to the success of Eddie Jones.
He is a proven world-class coach of some 20 years’ standing and has skills and an insight that neither of his predecessors, Martin Johnson and Stuart Lancaster, possessed.
England now have the coach they deserve to drive them on. Eddie is completely driven and, in many ways, ruthless.
He has enjoyed success in his career but also failure and badly wants to set the record straight.
Australia sacked him in 2005 and he wanted to avenge that on this trip. He lost a World Cup final against us in 2003 and, although he helped South Africa in 2007, he is desperate to become a World Cup winner in his own right.
He is great identifier of talent, a clear-minded selector — and his appointment of Dylan Hartley as captain was a masterstroke.
I see only good things ahead for Eddie with England.
What I have loved about this emerging England side is their flexibility and adaptability. For the first time in years there is a certainty about the eventual outcome, whatever is thrown their way.
England 2016 can play on the back foot and soak up pressure or they can dominate and drive home the advantage.
They can play with almost no ball - like they did in Melbourne last week - and they can make hay when they have loads of possession. They can win as frontrunners, they can win from behind.
Their set piece is strong but they can also conjure tries with moments of high skill and athleticism.
They are superbly led by Dylan Hartley - and what an inspired appointment that was - but other, younger players are becoming leaders in their own right. Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje, Billy Vunipola, George Ford.
Absolutely the biggest change since the miseries of the World Cup is the clearing of minds over the 10 and 12 position.
After years of refusing to grasp the nettle, England have settled again on two playmakers in midfield and the only time they really looked vulnerable in this series against a very talented and well coached Australia team was the first Test when they went with Luther Burrell at 12.
Owen Farrell is one of the England players who is emerging as a leader under the inspired tutelage of Jones
Let's just set this lesson down in stone in case we ever get distracted again. England will never beat the All Blacks and will never win the World Cup again relying on brute power at inside centre. The game has moved on massively - and forever - in that respect.
And the knock-on effect of logical consistent selection in midfield is considerable. If you are using possession properly, scoring the tries and points that you should, other selection 'issues' become way less important.
The make-up of the England back row has been a constant area of debate in recent years but the bottom line is that James Haskell and Chris Robshaw are great players in what they do. They are never going to let you down and when England are properly 'set up' and well selected we have immediately seen them at their best again rather than fretting about other aspects of their game.
Billy Vunipola, another English starlet, is just too powerful for Australia as he crashes over to score in Sydney
The coaching is world class from top to bottom, from Eddie calling the shots and setting the tone to his assistants, notably Steve Borthwick, Paul Gustard and Neil Hatley.
They are as hungry and ambitious as the players, I get a real sense of energy and passion from the England backroom staff. Take yesterday when again Eddie sensed a sea shift early in the game and had the power of his convictions to sub Teimana Harrison on the half hour and replace him with a second row, Courtney Lawes, while dropping Itoje back into the back row.
Harrison wasn't having a bad game, as such, but the England forwards for once seemed to be coming off second best in the collisions and were lacking a bit of power at the breakdown.
Lawes was an obvious remedy but how many coaches would have made that call so early in the game? Yet Jones is fearless in such situations. He did the same in the first Test when Burrell was ruthlessly replaced early in the first half, when the defence looked disorganised. The coach switched Farrell to inside centre and brought Ford back in.
Quick-thinker Jones had no qualms about throwing George Ford (left) into the fray 29 minutes into the first Test
These are the biggest, toughest calls you can make as a coach and Jones never backs off. Your reputation stands and falls by them. So does your respect within the group.
Neither Burrell a fortnight ago nor Harrison this week will have been delighted but Eddie's swift actions manifestly worked and in a close- knit and honest group that is the only thing that matters. Ultimately they will all be happy, everybody has contributed, even those squad members who haven't got on the bench in this series.
This is an indomitable England team. They have dug deep and proved their worth as players and individuals since last October and it is a thrilling prospect to see how they develop from this point.
Meanwhile they have earned the thanks of everybody who cares about England rugby. Enjoy your break with the knowledge you have all put a smile back on the face of Northern Hemisphere Rugby.
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