ENGLAND boss Eddie Jones looks set to get the bullet on Tuesday.
Leicester head coach Steve Borthwick is in line to take over — about a year earlier than expected — if the RFU can lure him away from Welford Road.
The union have not confirmed Jones’ exit, ahead of Tuesday’s board meeting.
But despite fighting his corner, the Aussie looks doomed.
The Tigers have said they would not stand in Borthwick’s way if he chose to leave for England’s top job but the RFU would need to shell out.
Borthwick is likely to want to take some of his assistants at Leicester with him, potentially defence coach Kevin Sinfield and performance guru Aled Walters, who helped the Springboks win the last World Cup.
Jones met with the panel reviewing England’s dismal recent results yesterday and RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney will report to his board today.
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The board is set to side with Sweeney whether he decides to back or sack his head coach with the World Cup just nine months away.
Jones was reportedly fearing for his future but was intent on coming out swinging in yesterday’s meeting.
Three of his assistant coaches, Richard Cockerill, Martin Gleeson and Matt Proudfoot, also met the RFU and their futures remain uncertain.
Union chiefs remain concerned about the churn of staff under Jones.
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Defence coach Anthony Seibold recently went back to rugby league and medic Richard Tingay left his post.
With Warren Gatland out of the frame after Wales fast-tracked his reappointment to their top job, the RFU have a race against time to fill their hole if Jones exits.
England are due to have a training camp around New Year and face Scotland in their Six Nations opener on February 4, leaving a new man little time to bed in.
But Gatland getting the Welsh gig again could have worked in Jones’ favour as the RFU would have to cut through some red tape to get Borthwick.
And it will cost the cash-strapped union if he got the bullet 11 months before his contract expires, with Jones expected to trouser around £700,000.
Kiwi Scott Robertson, who was recently in England to coach the Barbarians, is thought to have been contacted by the RFU.
Robertson is contracted to Super Rugby outfit Crusaders and they would need paying off if Twickenham came calling.
Jones conjured a Grand Slam in 2016 after taking over following the 2015 World Cup fiasco and led England to the last global final.
On the way to a showpiece with South Africa they destroyed New Zealand in the semi-final, in England’s best performance since 2003.
He also won two series in Australia and three Six Nations titles.