Eddie Jones has swatted aside doubt over his future by declaring he is ready to restore England to the summit of the game.
South Africa have already clinched the series 2-0 ahead of Saturday’s final match at Newlands, while Jones’s tourists plunge down the global rankings due to a run of five consecutive Test defeats.
It is five months until England’s next assignment – also against the Springboks but this time at Twickenham – and Jones insists his sole aim is to oversee an end to the barren spell and not dispel speculation over his post.
“I don’t need to worry about my job. All I need to worry about is coaching better,” Jones said.
“I woke up this morning, looked at Table Mountain and thought: ‘It’s a nice place’ – particularly when you’re on top, not so much when you’re looking from the bottom. So we need to get back on top.
“At the moment we have a young team that is struggling a little bit.
“That’s the reality. Everyone knows we are struggling. We don’t have enough experience in the team.
“We’re going through a renewal period. You go through a great period with a settled senior team. We don’t have that now. We are going through this renewal period and it’s tough.
“Someone has to take the team through it and I’m taking it through.”
Jones has returned to the location when he was first courted for the England job in the wake of Stuart Lancaster’s removal at the end of the 2015 World Cup.
Ian Ritchie, the Rugby Football Union chief executive at the time, flew to Cape Town to discuss the vacancy before negotiating the Australian’s release barely two weeks into his contract with the Stormers.
Now the reign that began with 17 straight victories and a remarkable sequence of 24 wins from 25 Tests is showing major fault lines that could force Twickenham to act should it continue into the autumn.
“I signed to coach the Stormers and then I was approached by England, which was too great an opportunity not to take,” Jones recalled.
“I’m very grateful to the Stormers organisation for releasing me. It’s a great rugby city, beautiful natural landscape, and it’s going to be a great game on Saturday.”
The climax to an unsuccessful tour of South Africa will mark the final match staged at Newlands – the sport’s second oldest stadium behind Twickenham – before it is pulled down due to financial troubles.
“It’s one of the great rugby grounds in the world and to have the privilege to play the last Test there is something we’re all honoured to be part of,” Jones said.
“Newlands has seen some great Test matches and it’s got that unique atmosphere there that you don’t get at any other South African ground.
“You’ve got the cultural mix at Newlands that you don’t get anywhere else and it’s fantastic.”