The good thing about the RFU appointing Eddie Jones as their new coach is we know it will not be a dull tenure. Jones has always been outspoken and in true Aussie style he tends to speak his mind, which gives us a host of honest views on England their players.
Looking back through the archives there are a few indicators of what’s ahead:
- Chris Robshaw will be dropped
- A conventional 7 will be picked
- England will play a higher risk, more expansive style suited to the likes of George Ford
- He didn’t rate Lancaster
- A club v country clash is on the horizon as Jones seeks more control over players
England’s potential and the 6 Nations
Asked if England showed signs of being World Cup contenders during the Six Nations, he replied: “I don’t think so. I thought they were very disappointing.”
“People get carried away by them putting 50 points on France in the last game but why didn’t they play like that the previous four games?”
“The Six Nations is a dour affair built on the foundation of not allowing the opposition to score points.”
Club versus country
“How can you manage your players when they are controlled by other organisations? In my opinion, that’s the single greatest task ahead of whoever is going to be appointed as the next England coach.”
‘Wales, Ireland and Scotland – unlike England, Italy and France – all have centralised contracting systems, the union controls the players. As a consequence, they produced competitive teams and vibrant performances at the recent World Cup.’
“The breakdown will be a key area of the game on Saturday and Australia can dominate there because England simply don’t have the specialist skills to compete with them [Hooper and Pocock].”
“David Pocock is an out-and-out ‘fetcher’. At the moment, there is no-one in the world better than him over the ball. Stuart Lancaster doesn’t have that sort of fetcher in his team.”
“Ben Morgan and Tom Wood don’t play over the ball, and Robshaw only half does it, so it looks like an uphill battle for England.”
“To me, Robshaw is an outstanding club player, but at international level he just doesn’t have that point of difference.”
“He carries okay, he tackles okay, but he’s not outstandingly good in any area. I think that is his limiting factor. He’s a good workmanlike player, but he does not have the specialist skills and the instinct as an openside that Pocock has.”
“The players up here [northern hemisphere] are talented enough to do it.
“You’ve seen the young stand-off for England, George Ford.
“If England thought Sam Burgess was good enough to play in the World Cup, then they should have started to play him in the Six Nations”.
“The guy obviously has talent and is a magnificent footballer. What he isn’t at the moment is a magnificent rugby footballer – you only get that through experience.”
“If we [Japan] had lost to the United States in our final game, people would have asked why we didn’t kick the ball rather than run with it. Because I am an older coach now, that sort of criticism does not worry me, but when you are a younger coach you feel the pressure and tell your team to kick the ball more.
“I think that’s what happened to Stuart Lancaster. I have no idea what the RFU will do but they have to change it because they could have a bloody good team.”
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