When compiling Rugby Revealed we reached out to international coaches and players to get their advice on the modern game and one of the first to agree to help was Eddie Jones.
Jones was working as Head Coach of Japan since 2012. Before that Coach Jones was Head Coach of Australia from 2001 – 2005 before taking a Technical Adviser role with South Africa, who went on to win the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Eddie Jones is now very well known around the world for leading Japan to their historic win against South Africa in this year’s World Cup.
Japan went on to win 3 of their 4 pool games but had the misfortune to be the first nation with 3 victories which failed to progress in the competition. A similar fate befell England who earned the title of first host nation to go out at the pool stage. Shortly after Stuart Lancaster left his Head Coach role and Jones was quickly named his successor.
In our interview I asked about the qualities he looked for in his players and team culture.
5 Rugby Lessons the England Players could learn from Eddie Jones
- What are the physical, mental and technical qualities you look for in your players?
“Players need to be positionally specifically fit to play. Mentally they need to be team players and mentally fit for their position. A technical base is important – good consistent core skills are vital.”
- What are the core skills and how do you develop them?
“Core skills are catch/pass, tackling, breadown, and then positionally specific skills. The best way to develop these skills is through game training with guided feedback from coaches.”
- What are the roles of the units in attack and how do you build an understanding between them?
“Synergy is the key. A complete understanding of the role of the units in the team.
The Front Five must work out the opposition 9 and dent the gain line.
The Back Row must support the ball carriers and execute their running roles.
The 9 and 10 must create space for the centres who must run straight and preserve space for the Back Three to score tries.”
- How do you develop team culture?
“Team culture is based on shared values, a shared language and a belief that it is the right way to do things.”
- What advice would you give young players seeking a professional career?
“Young players should develop their core skills, their work ethic and love of the game. Being a professional is a consequence of developing these traits.”
Keeping it Simple
His answers may not have been as detailed as others we spoke to for the book, they were simple and to the point which hints at a very focused mind with a clear vision.
He spoke shortly after his appointment on his plans for the team. Pragmatism, passion, playing style and potential were the main themes but central contracts and overseas players were also mentioned. His answers didn’t suggest an immediate return for the French based duo Armitage and Abendanon.
Exclusive. Eddie Jones on his plans, playing style, central contracts, captaincy, overseas players and more.https://t.co/GhhE1thvye
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) November 20, 2015
Sometimes the greatest challenge and the best option is to keep your rugby simple. I look forward to seeing Jones’ England Team when they debut against Scotland at Murrayfield in a few months’ time.
Gavin Hickie, USA Rugby Collegiate All-Americans Forwards Coach, is a former Ireland A & 7s, Leinster and Leicester rugby player now Head Coach of Dartmouth Rugby. He writes for RugbyToday.com and other publications when not coaching and blogging on lineoutcoach.com