Jones likes England's Mavericks

Wed, 06 Sep 2017 08:49
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: England rugby coach Eddie Jones revealed that Mavericks like James Haskell and Dylan Hartley are special because "you don't want everyone to be off the same cookie cutter".

The 57-year-old Australian likes Haskell because he has been something of an outsider and has fought his way through to win over 70 caps.

Hartley - whose selection as captain by Jones prompted one renowned English private school to protest claiming they would stop playing the game - is a "lunatic but a nice lunatic" who leads by example.

"I think they add to the team," Jones remarked after speaking at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester.

"You don't want everyone to be from the same cookie cutter.

"You want players to bring different things to the party and Haskell and Hartley bring that," added the man who has transformed the fortunes of the national team since he took over after the trauma of the hosts exiting the 2015 World Cup at the first hurdle.

Jones, who guided Australia to the 2003 World Cup final and lost to a drop goal in the last minute of extra time by England legend Jonny Wilkinson, is a great fan of using psychology as part of his weaponry.

"Psychology is a big part of any coaching make up," he said.

"As you get older you accumulate more experience, you see things earlier than you did when you were younger and that allows you to change the mindset of the players in easier fashion,"

Jones - son of a Japanese American mother and an Australian father - is renowned for being meticulous in his preparations when he takes a team over with an emphasis on the national psyche as he did when he became Japan's national coach.

"When I took over Japan I just wanted to really understand how the Japanese thought and what was important for them because in any society you go to there are things that are important to them," he said.

"So I commissioned a thesis into that and the answer was the three core values of the samurai: hard work, discipline and loyalty.

"So I drove those three values and reinforced them and it became the Japan rugby team way."

Jones got the England job on the back of his extraordinary success with Japan at the 2015 World Cup where they caused a huge upset in beating two-time world champions South Africa in the pool stage.

He says it doesn't matter that the young in Japan have less of a feeling for the samurai themselves these days event though parents still teach them the core values.

"If you talk to Japanese players now about the samurai it doesn't resonate at all," he said.

"It is like if you talk to young Anglo Saxons about World War I and World War II it doesn't resonate but to me and my age group it does because my father fought in it.

"To young English people it doesn't but there will be values on how England behaved in those wars that will be values still being taught today.

"Thus it is for me to make sure I understand those values and bring those values forward and reinforce them with the squad."

Jones admitted he learnt an important lesson from the one serious reverse of his coaching career at the Queensland Reds where he won just two matches  - and that was to never try and follow other peoples trends.   

"I don't know if you can set trends but you have got to be trying to set them," said Jones who has exchanged ideas with the likes of Pep Guardiola when he was in charge of Bayern Munich.

"We don't want to copy New Zealand but we want to learn from them but at the end of the day we want to play English rugby.

"I would love it if by 2020 there were 10 teams who copied the way England played."

Agence France-Presse