Luther Burrell believes England’s players ‘live in fear’ of Eddie Jones

Luther Burrell

Luther Burrell believes England’s players “live in fear” of Eddie Jones as the head coach doesn’t allow members of his squad to make mistakes.

Jones has come under criticism recently for arguing that England’s players lack resolve, as many of them attended fee-paying schools where they weren’t faced with enough adversity.

Many have pointed out that the bulk of England’s squad left school many years ago and that Jones should have been able to develop leaders in his squad, having taken charge of the team over six years ago.

Former England international Luther Burrell was writing in the Daily Mail and argued that players’ ability to develop into leaders under Jones is stunted as they are afraid of being punished for mistakes.

Luther Burrell on Eddie Jones.

“I’m not sure what things are like now, but my experience is of a dictatorship where you are just told what to do. That sort of environment doesn’t allow the players within it to grow and make wrong decisions, which is crucial,” Burrell wrote.

“No one wants to make a wrong decision, but rugby is never going to be a smooth process. The ability to make mistakes, learn from them and then correct them the next time around is crucial to the growth and development of both a player and the team as a whole.

“I’m not sure England’s players feel they can do that. They’re worried about making errors which could lead to them being dropped. They live in fear of Eddie.

“So too do his assistant coaches. That much is clear by the huge number who have worked in the England set-up under him and then moved on.”

The Australian isn’t new to controversy.

Jones has sparked quite a reaction from English rugby with his comments on fee-paying schools, although the veteran Australian coach is unlikely to be too perturbed by criticism sent his way.

England have endured an inconsistent 18-month period, although Jones’ side got back to winning ways in Australia as they claimed a 2-1 series victory against the Wallabies.

Despite some poor results in recent times, the English RFU have consistently backed Jones to continue as head coach, as he has insisted his priority is building a team for next year’s World Cup rather than aiming for short-term success.

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