Eddie Jones' England revival: The secrets of how the Australian has swept aside the World Cup pain of the Stuart Lancaster era
It's now a year since Eddie Jones took over as England's head coach succeeding Stuart Lancaster after the Red Rose's World Cup flop. Eddie Jones has had an incredible first year in charge of England and remains unbeaten. Under Jones England have risen to second in the world behind ranking leaders New Zealand.
The Australian has won all 12 of his Tests in charge of his new team.
Some well connected observerers and insiders give their opinions
SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: Ex England Head Coach
‘Jones is building an outstanding Test outfit Sunday is the first anniversary of Eddie Jones' appointment as head coach of England and the Australian has overseen a stunning revival in the fortunes of the national team. From a world ranking of eighth when he took charge, he has overseen a surge to second in the global chart, on the back of 11 victories in his first 11 Tests’.
‘Along the way there has been a first English Grand Slam for 13 years, an historic series whitewash of Australia Down Under and a first win against South Africa for a decade. As a further, unprecedented sign of the transformation, three England players were recently shortlisted for the prestigious World Player of the Year award.’
IAN RITCHIE: RFU chief executive
‘When I met Eddie in Cape Town last year, we sat and talked for four or five hours, about a lot of things, and the way he came across in that first meeting is exactly how he has been in the job ever since.’
'What first struck me was his unbelievable knowledge of the game and his experience. If I had to sum up what he has brought to the role, I would say directness, simplicity and clarity. 'He has a deep understanding of how players work. He is authoritative, but also good at putting an arm round people.
‘It is difficult to imagine anyone who is more focused or hardworking. The overall mission is to win the World Cup in 2019 and Eddie is restless about seeking further improvements. When I spoke to him after the Grand Slam and after the tour, he immediately down-played those achievements and was already looking ahead. ‘I have some interaction with the players and they recognise how far, as a coach, he can improve their game. They know that if you are going to be a world-class player, you need a world-class coach with a tracksuit on, who is hands-on, as Eddie is.
‘When he was appointed a year ago, we had to be realistic about what to expect, so to do what he has done, so quickly, has been remarkable. There is no danger of complacency because his desire to keep improving is pretty overwhelming.'
JAMES HASKELL - England flanker
‘The key thing for me is his man management ability. He has given the players confidence because he knows what makes us tick. He treats the players as adults too, so when it's time to let our hair down, we can do that, but then it's back to business again.
“Eddie works us very hard, but he has made it fun. The boys look forward to training and enjoy the way he interacts with us. There is so much attention to detail. He remembers everyone's names, he even remembers your girlfriend's name.’
‘When he thought I was ill, he brought me a green shake every morning. 'One time I said the clock on the training ground had been re-set and he said it wasn't true but it was, so he brought me a protein shake every day for the next week.’
‘ He's very down-to-earth like that. ‘Eddie is a straight-shooter. In a world of lawyers, political correctness and media training, it is refreshing that someone calls a spade a spade and will tell you if you're talking nonsense. The boys love how direct he is.’
‘Eddie drives us hard but as soon as he leaves the training field he wants to have a laugh and a joke again. He gives all the boys banter and nicknames, and you want that, but at the same time it is very clear that he is the boss and nobody wants to upset him. He walks around with a cricket ball and he will suddenly throw it at you if you're not looking and say, "Come on mate, you've got to learn to catch!".'
STEVE BORTHWICK - England forwards coach
‘Eddie would be the first to say that the players have been fantastic. They have embraced a different way of doing things and worked exceptionally hard. 'Dylan (Hartley) has been brilliant as captain and the other leaders have been great. Eddie has got lots of strengths. He connects with the players really well’.
'He is tactically very astute. His ability to analyse a team and come up with a game-plan is brilliant. He is also hands-on as a coach and has the ability to improve a player. He asks the right questions, identifies what needs to change and says the right thing or makes changes to get the right effect. He is outstanding.' Dylan Hartley - England captain ‘
‘The first time we met, it was in the restaurant at the team hotel. I had porridge. I wanted to have a croissant, but had porridge! Eddie paid. 'We had breakfast and talked about rugby for a long time and then he offered me an opportunity (to be captain). I was nervous. ‘Eddie is on at me 24/7 and it is for my own good. If I am not improving, how can the team improve? He is constantly feeding back honestly. It is constant good, bad, good — and it is what you need.'
JASON LEONARD - Former RFU president
‘Eddie's been very honest, open and transparent with the players in what he wants. He's a coach and he wants his players to improve. Sometimes that can be carrot and stick. 'What's been great is that he knows when to do it, what to do and who to do it with. He's a great assessor of people and a great communicator. ‘He can speak on behalf of players and he can speak to players.
He's done a cracking job and hardly put a foot wrong. He's obviously got a bit of the Midas touch and I like the fact he's already thinking about 2019.'
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