Simon Amor has left his role as England’s attack coach after their worst Six Nations performance since 1976 while the skills coach Jason Ryles has also departed in another major overhaul of Eddie Jones’s backroom staff.
The Rugby Football Union said on Friday that Amor’s departure after only 15 months was a mutual decision, but change was always likely after England’s dismal fifth-place finish in the Six Nations. Ryles, meanwhile, was absent from the Six Nations because of complications over relocating from Australia during the pandemic and has opted to remain there.
The RFU’s review into England’s Six Nations performance cleared Jones of blame but it gave little mention of his assistants, thereby calling their futures into question. The review did, however, highlight Ryles’s absence as one of the reasons for England’s sub-par showing so while his departure can be considered a blow to Jones, Amor’s exit comes as less of a surprise.
Jones will oversee England’s attack against USA and Canada this summer while a replacement for Amor is sought in what constitutes another revamp of his coaching staff. Since Jones took charge, Paul Gustard, Steve Borthwick, Neal Hatley, Sam Vesty, Glen Ella, Rory Teague, Scott Wisemantel, Amor and Ryles have come and gone.
Jones has spent time this week with Hull FC, who are coached by his compatriot Brett Hodgson. Given Hodgson has previously spent time in the England camp he will inevitably be touted for a more permanent role while the Wasps attack coach, Martin Gleeson, has also been linked. Ed Robinson filled in for Ryles during the Six Nations and is also highly thought of by Jones.
“I would like to commend Simon’s outstanding diligence and his hard work, and I have no doubt he will find a role soon that suits him perfectly,” said Jones. “With Jason, the Covid-19 restrictions have proved too difficult for him and his family to overcome, which we fully understand but are disappointed for us and the team.”
Amor was an internal appointment by the RFU in early 2020, having previously been in charge of the men’s sevens team. He was tasked with filling the sizeable void left by the popular Wisemantel but has found it difficult to inspire England’s attack. Ryles was appointed full-time in October 2020 and came with a lofty reputation, having guided Melbourne Storm to the National Rugby League title, but the pandemic has ensured his impact was limited.