Eddie Jones
Jones signs four-year deal with RFU to replace Stuart Lancaster Getty

Eddie Jones has been appointed England's first-ever foreign rugby head coach.

The 55-year-old Australian, who masterminded Japan's historic victory over South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup has signed a four-year deal with the RFU and will officially begin his duties in December.

Jones succeeds Stuart Lancaster, who left the England set-up on 11 November following England's miserable World Cup campaign where they failed to go past the pool stages.

"The opportunity to take the reins in possibly the world's most high profile international rugby job doesn't come along every day however, and I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity," Jones said.

"I'm now looking forward to working with the RFU and the players to move beyond the disappointment England suffered at the World Cup and hope to build a new team that will reflect the level of talent that exists within the English game. I believe the future is bright for England."

Jones leaves South African side Stormers after just three months. His first match in charge will be against Scotland in England's Six Nations opener at Murrayfield on 6 February 2016.

Jones leaves South African side Stormers after just three months. His first match in charge will be against Scotland in England's Six Nations opener at Murrayfield on 6 February.

Following Lancaster's departure, the RFU indicated they would turn to an overseas coach and spare no expense in naming the right man. After links with Australia and Ireland head coaches Michael Cheika and Joe Schmidt, RFU chief executive Ian Richie feels they have fulfilled that ambition.

"We promised to recruit a coach with proven international experience and we have done that. Eddie is a world-class coach, with extensive experience at the highest level with Australia, South Africa and Japan. We believe that the appointment, which was unanimously approved by the RFU board, is the right one to bring England success in the short, medium and long term.

"We are confident Eddie can build on the strong foundations already laid, with this talented group of players largely remaining together through to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and beyond. We are grateful to the Stormers for their co-operation in releasing Eddie early from his contract."

Jones was in charge of Australia in the 2003 World Cup final defeat to England and was technical director of South Africa when they won the competition in 2007.