England are at the end of an era and need to make sweeping changes, says former wing Ugo Monye.
England finished fifth in the Six Nations after suffering defeats by Scotland, Wales and Ireland in the same campaign for the first time since 1976.
“As a group, this is the end of an era,” Monye told Rugby Union Weekly.
“Eddie Jones is the right man, but he needs to freshen up the squad and coaching staff, both in terms of personnel and philosophy.”
Head coach Jones was appointed to replace Stuart Lancaster in the wake of the team’s pool-stage exit at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and he led them to the final four years later, where they were beaten by South Africa.
He has a contract until the end of the next tournament in France in 2023, but has come under pressure with his side lacking a clear style or consistent results so far this year.
Former England scrum-half Danny Care believes the Rugby Football Union have reached a point where they have to “stick or twist” with Jones, either backing him through to the end of France 2023 or allowing a new man to come in.
“Either they say this is our man and throw everything at him, or they decide to change it,” he said.
“Look at like South Africa. 18 months before winning the the last World Cup, they brought in Rassie Erasmus as head coach.
“It had a drastic change on that whole squad and nation. The RFU has a big, big decision on their hands.
“People are falling out of love with England Rugby – we need to inspire kids in the here and now with young players, exciting rugby.”
Monye believes that England need new leadership on the pitch to bring new ideas.
The most-capped players in England’s team in Ireland were scrum-half Ben Youngs (109 caps), fly-half George Ford (77) and captain and inside centre Owen Farrell (93).
“I think a team can be together too long,” said Monye.
“You need someone to burst into that leadership group and try and change a philosophy. We need to break up this holy huddle if we want to invoke change.”
The final finale
The destiny of this year’s title will be decided on Friday night in Paris when Scotland and France meet in a fixture postponed from its original February date by a Covid outbreak in the France camp.
France, who kept alive their hopes of lifting the trophy with a dramatic late win over Wales on Saturday, need a bonus-point win and a 21-point winning margin to take the title.
A 20-point winning margin and six or more tries would also be enough to unseat Wales at the top of the table.
Care thinks Wales can start planning celebrations with some confidence.
“Surely Scotland are not going to lose by 21 points,” he said.
“Scotland had the best defence in last year’s Six Nations, and they still have a very good defence.
“I think everyone has gone France mad. They only just scraped home against Wales who were down to 13, and we didn’t see their attack particularly against England, when they lost to a team that finished fifth in the tournament.”
But Monye is not so certain that France are chasing a lost cause.
“If it is the Scotland who won 11-6 at Twickenham, France are not scoring four tries,” he said.
“But if it is the Scotland who lost to Wales and Ireland, I could see France doing it.
“France go to gear one to five in the space of one offload.”