Eddie Jones turns to soccer for England answers
Eddie Jones will tune into soccer’s European Championship in search of ideas to strengthen his own performance as England rugby coach.
The Australian has struck up a good relationship with England soccer boss Gareth Southgate and has taken part in regular virtual chats with the Three Lions boss, David Moyes, Arsene Wenger and coaches from the NBA and NFL to discuss the challenges of working in sport during the COVID era.
England launches their Euro 2020 opener against Croatia on Sunday and with his own side’s summer series not beginning until June 27, Jones will be on the lookout over the coming weeks for pointers that might translate to rugby.
“I know Gareth reasonably well. We have chatted over the last period of time and I’ll be following his interests and the team’s interests,” he said.
“They obviously have a talented group of players as evidenced by two English teams being in the European Cup final and one team in the Europa League final.
“They have got some great talent at the moment and it’s about how that talent can come together and play as one team where players have to play in different roles.
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“It’s no different to what we have to do in terms of sometimes players have to play a slightly different role to what they do at their club because it suits the team better. I will be watching that.
“Obviously there are some good players in other teams so we will see how the coaches get the best out of those players.
“Again, I’ve had a few chats with the Belgium coach [Roberto Martinez] and he’s got some talent there.
“How they handle the expectation of being one of the favourites with outstanding players like Kevin De Bruyne will be of interest.”
Jones has named his first squad since the Six Nations as preparations begin for next month’s Tests against the USA and Canada at Twickenham, which are preceded by an ‘A’ international against Scotland A.