Eddie Jones keen to learn from Southgate's success
SPOTLIGHT: England rugby coach Eddie Jones admitted he is taking ideas from Gareth Southgate after he led England’s football team to the Euro 2020 Final against Italy.
Jones has struck up a strong relationship with his football counterpart Southgate, and hailed the Three Lions boss for his history-making exploits in ending a 55-year wait to reach a major tournament final.
“Gareth’s a humble, curious, very well-educated coach,” said Jones.
“The thing that impresses me is that for a young coach, he carries himself in the way of someone with a lot more experience.
“And he’ll know what to do. He doesn’t need any advice from me.”
The vastly-experienced Australian steered England to the 2019 World Cup Final, only for South Africa to prevail 32-12 in Japan.
England defeated two-time defending champions New Zealand 19-7 in the semifinals, in a stunning victory that Jones’ men could not repeat in the final.
Southgate’s England expended a huge amount of physical and mental energy during their tense extra-time victory over Denmark on Wednesday.
But Jones has few concerns about the toll that could take on Sunday’s final.
“We’d just like to congratulate Gareth and the football for their great result,” said Jones.
“It was great fun and it’s obviously given the country a lot to cheer about, so we wish them all the best for the final, and hope they go one better than we did.”
Jones and Southgate have spoken regularly since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the England rugby chief always looking to pick the brains of fellow top coaches.
The 61-year-old revealed he has borrowed England’s light-hearted approach to recovery sessions, that has seen star footballers messing around on inflatable unicorns in swimming pools.
Jones’ England will host Canada at Twickenham on Saturday, and enjoyed a recovery session this week comprising axe throwing and tree felling.
“You’re always looking for different ways of saying things, or doing things,” added Jones.
“We saw their recovery where they are all on the unicorns.
“We just had a recovery session out here with a Canadian theme, so we had axe throwing and chopping down trees, and doing all sorts like that.
“There’s nothing specific that I can say but some of the ideas that Gareth has you then take on yourself.
“You’ve got to be, as (Manchester City manager) Pep Guardiola says, an idea thief, and then it becomes your idea.”