England's sporting fortunes have somersaulted with the cricket side spanking the Aussies, the football team qualifying for the World Cup finals and the rugby side spluttering to the end of a dismal season.

They are remarkable changes for the island nation and especially for Eddie Jones and his squad with a rousing start turning to despair through the Six Nations then a trip to South Africa.

Six defeats including a non-test scalping by the Barbarians in England's last seven matches is disconcerting baggage to lug into the off-season.

The heat is rising on everyone with RFU chairman Andy Cosslett qualifying his support of Jones while the coach has been warring with clubs as one owner likened him to the Donald Trump of rugby.


That's a mega insult in anyone's language but no surprise it surfaced as there have always been whiffs of obstinate obsession about Jones' rugby style in much the way Michael Cheika was seen across the Ditch.

His passion and methods brought short-term results but also overwhelmed his squad as they looked at how they were going to deal with Cheika in a lengthy sequence. There have been changes and while Cheika remains a volatile leader behind the coaching glass he has a crew of lieutenants who balance that on the training fields.

Finding that stability will be part of the rising list of questions and diminishing number of answers which will bite through the next four months before England and Jones resume their public displays.

One issue to be canvassed more will be his decision to pick Brad Shields from the Hurricanes in a move which brought split views about the rush and morality of overlooking domestically based players.

There will be a great deal of behind-the-scenes discussion and planning about England's world ranking slide from No2 to No4 as everyone contemplates the run to the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

When all the assessments are done and players have picked up their kit for a new season, England will pull on their gear for a massive start to their programme.

They open in November against their most recent conquerors, the Springboks, and a week later host the All Blacks.

It'll be four years since the sides last met when the All Blacks squeaked past Stuart Lancaster's side 24-21 at Twickenham.

England played well while the All Blacks struggled with their rhythm with rising mentions of end-of-year fatigue.


England could use that line about their test series in South Africa where they looked off the pace against a vibrant but raw Springbok group.

Those concepts won't wash in November when England will be fresh and the All Blacks will want to produce their best for successive tests against England then Ireland, sandwiched between a start against Japan and finish against Italy.

Steve Hansen admitted he made a mistake using some under-cooked players in successive tests against France and that experience will bring lessons to deal with when in London and Dublin in November.

Circumstances meant the All Black squad expanded to 40 payers with 31 of them getting on the field against France this month as Karl Tu'inukuafe, Jack Goodhue, Shannon Frizzell and Jackson Hemopo added to the depth of choices.