England coach Eddie Jones said in a video message on Friday that the nation needs to get behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson in order to defeat the coronavirus.

Describing Johnson as the country’s “head coach”, Jones called for people to keep their social distance and for the rugby community to continuing training at home because the sport will start again once the pandemic is over.

Jones was speaking in Japan the day after it was announced he had accepted a pay cut of more than 25% to help ease the financial burden on the Rugby Football Union (RFU) which is set to lose millions of pounds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The RFU faces losses of up to 50 million pounds ($61 million) over the next year-and-a-half due to the outbreak but will still provide a 7 million-pound relief package to community clubs in the country.

Jones led England to the Rugby World Cup final in Japan last year where they lost to South Africa.

Sweeney said on Wednesday (March 25) that the RFU Executive Team would be taking a pay cut in excess of 25%.

Sport worldwide on a standstill

The pandemic has brought sport worldwide to a standstill and the RFU and Welsh rugby’s governing body, the WRU, confirmed last week the end of the 2019-20 season for all league, cup and county rugby, with the exception of the English Premiership.

England’s top-flight competition is suspended until at least April 24, with nine rounds and the playoffs still to be played.

Four Six Nations matches were also postponed due to the coronavirus.

In the video below SABC News reports on COVID-19 pandemic in the UK