Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keeping Up with Jones Is Going to Be So Very Interesting

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keeping Up with Jones Is Going to Be So Very Interesting

Article excerpt


LIFE under Eddie Jones is certainly going to be interesting following the appointment of the Australian as England's head coach I like him a lot and he has plenty going for him.

We speak the same sort of language and it was heartening to hear the sort of things he was coming out with at his official unveiling.

One point he was keen to make is he is looking no further than winning the opening game of the Six Nations, when we face Scotland at Murrayfield on February 6. He is concentrating on what we are good at and looking to develop that. The good Anglo-Saxon qualities of doggedness, the Churchillian bulldog spirit and all of that will be central but he is looking to ally these traditional attributes with increased guile and awareness in the back line.

He has a lot to build on and will undoubtedly be the beneficiary of Stuart Lancaster's good work in bringing on a lot of the current players. How he deals with Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and Mike Catt as he shapes his support staff will be very interesting.

Fortunately for them, he appears to be making all the right noises as far as they are concerned and not looking to chuck all the bathwater out with the baby in his brief time in charge.

Jones is a perceptive individual. He is concerned about winning but he knows the team will need to underpin that with consistent quality performances.

Results are crucial but you need to be adaptable, play the conditions, suss out what the opposition are doing and adapt to the referee.

These are all the basic elements any good coach looks at.

I have adhered to them my whole life and I was pleasantly surprised to hear a current coach talking about them in public.

It was reassuring to hear the basic tenets of the game still apply.

If he can get that part of it right then he will get the team in good shape.

After the excitement and ultimate disappointment of the Rugby World Cup English supporters can now look forward with a degree of optimism and enthusiasm as to what the Six Nations and beyond might offer.

There is undeniably bags of potential within the national set-up and it will be fascinating to see what positive results a man of Jones's pedigree and experience can bring to the National XV after the lows of the past few months. …

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