England face 'shock and awe? from Eddie Jones
The extent of the intensity of the new regime will come as a major wake-up call for the England players, according to Justin Harrison, who played all of his -senior rugby in the southern hemisphere under Jones, including three seasons at the Brumbies and four with Australia.
Harrison, now head coach at the French side Narbonne, claimed that Jones would pose demanding questions of his players and take them to a level of preparation and commitment that they had yet to experience.
“If they think they have worked hard before now, then they haven’t,” said Harrison, who won all of his 34 Australia caps under Jones between 2001 and 2004. “He has no interest in playing games, he just tells you how it is and a lot of the English players will initially be quite shocked and offended but the reaction will be a positive one. “He does not suffer fools and is brutally honest. But while you need to be offended by what he says, you cannot take it personally. Australian veteran Harrison knows all about Eddie Jones' coaching style “You just have to get a reaction and make sure you understand that it is designed to motivate or test you. “
It would not be uncommon to get a panicked phone call from one of the coaches at two or three in the morning saying, ‘Please, I need a couple of line-out options’ or ‘We need to talk about something immediately and Eddie has just rung me and wants this delivered to him by 6am’. “He didn’t appear to me to ever sleep, which I thought was strange. He is proud of his players as well. He is the first guy to go into bat for a player when he knows how hard he is working.
The players who work hard will have a protective, almost father figure in Eddie.” Brown, who is expected to be confirmed as Jones’s vice-captain, said that the players would welcome the new demands placed on them. One of the senior players in the new-look squad with 43 caps, he said: “I am massively excited to get back involved, like Eddie said it is about putting England back where we think we should be. “There are exciting new young players in but also younger guys who are playing well and with stuff to prove and put some things right. “We want to be successful, and if it means we have to work all hours of the day, then that is fine.
Whatever he says, he is the boss and we will all buy into it because we are desperate for success. We will be like nodding dogs and keen to get it done.” Brown also insisted that he had no regrets about turning the heat on team-mates who had been making anonymous complaints about Stuart Lancaster’s regime following the side’s pool-stage exit at the World Cup in October last year.
“I got letters from supporters, including one from some Northampton fans, who I wrote back to,” the Harlequins full-back said. “It was really nice to hear from people out of the blue. I also spoke to players I am close to outside the England set-up and they were all fine with it. “It was what I thought, and it is what I think that matters to me and my family. It is done now. What happens in camp will stay in camp and what we do now, it will be fine. Once we get into camp, we will move on, and that’s it. It will be done. What we do in camp will be between us and that is the way it needs to be.”
Harrison said that one of the major focuses of Jones’s regime would be on the players’ skills, saying: “Eddie will run small work stations with intense repetition and making sure that each player understands that he has the menu to enable him to play the style of game that they want to play.
“There will not be the opportunity to say, ‘I can’t do that or I have never been asked to do that before or it wasn’t my fault’. “If you were off doing a drill and he was about 150 metres away, engrossed in something else, the minute you did something wrong you would hear his voice across the paddock.”
As for Hartley’s appointment as captain, Harrison said: “Of course his disciplinary record is less than exemplary but he is already an iconic figure in English rugby. Eddie will not care what has gone on before.
“He is a quality player and if you show as a coach that you are willing to throw your arm around someone who was in danger of being discarded, you are going to have a disciple for life. It will also galvanise the group as they will see Eddie has a human side to him as well and is not just a dictator.”
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