Rob Baxter reveals keen interest in Eddie Jones’ successor as England boss

The Exeter Chiefs boss is delighted RFU are looking for a homegrown successor in the Premier League but asks: “What are the job specifications?”

Baxter: “I’d love to talk to you about the role”

Rob Baxter says he would like to meet with Eddie Jones bosses as they seek a homegrown successor for their Australia head coach.

Rugby Football Union chief executive Bill Sweeney has pledged to appoint an Englishman if Jones steps down after the 2023 World Cup.

Baxter is the leading English contender for bookmakers. But until Twickenham bosses finalize the job description, it’s impossible to tell if he’ll throw his hat in the ring.

The Exeter boss said: “I’d love to speak to you about what the role is, how you see it and what your plans and ambitions are. There is an interest in it for obvious reasons.

“But I’ll be honest with you, we don’t really know what the job is. That’s one of the challenges of the RFU – to really decide. If you don’t know what it is, it’s hard to say yes or no to anything.”

Eddie Jones with RFU leader Bill Sweeney


(Getty Images)

Baxter, 51, clearly backs Sweeney’s plan for the RFU to appoint Brian Ashton directly from the Premiership for the first time since Bath’s takeover of Andy Robinson in 2006.

“I’m not one of those people who sit here and say ‘The England manager has to be English,'” he said. “I don’t think it’s a requirement that it has to be an Englishman at all.

“But I think it’s good that within the English game they look like there has historically been a penchant for ignoring Premiership coaches.

“It puts some meat on the bones when it comes to developing coaches in English football.”

For everything he believes, the RFU must first decide what it wants – before settling on who.

“Is it a Director of Rugby type role? someone who brings a coaching staff and is willing to work with these guys? asked Baxter, who coached England’s striker at the 2013 Tour of Argentina.

“Is it a guy on the field who calls the whistle – and determines how the team actually plays?

“Is it like they want to find the guy first and he fits into a role that he’s comfortable with and good at?

“Or will they say, ‘We want that kind of person and that’s what the role has to be’?

“Answer that, and then maybe you’ll actually see people say, ‘Right, that’s a role for me,’ or ‘That’s not a role for me.'”

Baxter has guided Exeter to the last six Premiership finals he’s won in 2017 and 2020 and insists he doesn’t want to leave.

Since taking charge of the Chiefs in 2009, England have left the Premier League, taking turns as head coaches Martin Johnson, Stuart Lancaster and Jones. Rob Baxter reveals keen interest in Eddie Jones' successor as England boss

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