It was all so very different in January when Eddie Jones had his England deal extended by a further two years on the back of 22 wins from his first 23 Tests. Photo: Toby Melville/Reuters

LONDON – Eddie Jones has been backed by Rugby Football Union chief executive Steve Brown to get England back to winning ways after their shock Six Nations slump.

England, champions in 2017, finished a miserable fifth in this season’s Six Nations, their worst performance in the tournament for more than 30 years.

They now head to South Africa for a three-Test series with the Springboks on the back of three straight defeats by Scotland, France and Grand Slam champions Ireland.

It was all so very different in January when Australian coach Jones had an England deal due to expire after the 2019 World Cup in Japan extended by a further two years on the back of 22 wins from his first 23 Tests as Red Rose boss. 

Given the proximity of the World Cup, and the fact Brown so recently gave him a new deal, it would require something extraordinary for Twickenham chiefs to ditch Jones before Japan 2019.

And it may well be that the problems revealed by England’s trio of defeats, notably a lack of sharpness at the breakdown and in attack, are too extensive even for the experienced former Australia and Japan coach to solve in time if his current side are to challenge reigning world champions New Zealand.

Brown, however, was encouraged by the way Jones had analysed England’s situation in a Six Nations debrief. 

“Eddie described the things that he felt needed to be improved and changed, and his plan going forward,” Brown said on Thursday.

“I took a great deal of confidence from those plans in how we can ignite the success we had until recently.”