Eddie Jones has been told by the Rugby Football Union that England’s alarming slump must be reversed with a flourish when the southern hemisphere giants visit Twickenham this autumn.
A sequence of five Test defeats was ended when South Africa were toppled in Cape Town on June 23 – but the series had already been conceded to place Jones’ position under scrutiny.
The Australian retains the RFU’s backing but chief executive Steve Brown has stressed the importance of delivering a successful November series against the Springboks, New Zealand, Japan and Australia.
And the results must be delivered in style as Twickenham prepares to unveil a new-look East Stand which has been redeveloped at a cost of £80million.
“They (wins) are critical. They’re all critical. It’s really important that not just England turn up but that they perform,” Brown said.
“Everyone in the RFU, as well as Eddie and the coaching team, believe that. They are are always really important, never more so than now.
“When you look around, we’re opening a great big new hospitality suite here, we’re selling the place out four times over.
“We expect success in the autumn. We’re planning to come out of the other side successful.
“We showed great character for the result in Cape Town, but the series was disappointing and so was the Six Nations.
“No one has unconditional support. I don’t have it, Eddie doesn’t have it. But what Eddie does have and the coaching team have is our confidence that they are capable of delivering success.”
Jones has been forced to issue two apologies this year for making unflattering comments about Wales and Ireland and Bath owner Bruce Craig, who he described as the “Donald Trump of rugby”.
“Both sets of remarks, and those apologies, are regrettable frankly and Eddie probably regrets them more than anybody,” Brown said.
“I have spoken to him about those and I don’t think they reflect his underlying feelings, they are in the moment sometimes, but that is not what we are about.
Everyone is clear about that now.”
Brown is overseeing a redundancy process at the RFU that is expected to be completed by the end of August with 62 people set to lose their jobs, saving the union up to £3million each year.
“We’ve not seen a drop in income as yet, but the people who support us, invest in us and spend money here are suffering out there,” Brown said.
“Every business ha been affected and we’re predicting that the growth we’ve seen over the last five or six years will not continue. It will flatten out and maybe even decline slightly.
“So we’ve had to make some very difficult decisions and reduce the number of people who work here.”
Brown revealed the RFU has reached “crunch time” as it examines its options in the hope of fully professionalising the women’s game this season.