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Andy Goode Column: What Next For The Eddie Jones Crusade

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: Eddie Jones,(L) the England head coach looks on with skills coach Glen Ella during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at Allianz Stadium on June 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Hats off to Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones is now nine from nine in England test matches and has given the squad so much confidence, what the squad did in Australia to go away there and win three nil there with some outstanding performances was simply fantastic.

Whats most interesting about Eddie Jones is his man management, Haskell as an example in the old regime felt like a bit of a dirty secret. He is a player I’ve known for some time and if you give him confidence he really will perform for you and you really saw that. Going back to the 6 Nations and the series you hear the story that Eddie Jones makes him a green smoothie every morning to make him feel welcome, Jones is doing brilliant to get the best out of every single player, for some guys he’s used the carrot and the stick method and for others he has put his arm around them and given them confidence.

Billy Vunipola is playing the best he’s ever played an he is right up there with Read as one of the best numbers 8’s in the world. A lot of that goes down to the Jones and his man management and the way he gives the players confidence as well.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Eddie Jones, (R) the England head coach, congratulates the England back row forward Chris Robshaw, (L), Billy Vunipola and James Haskell after their victory during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at AAMI Park on June 18, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A lot of hard work has been put in by the players and full credit goes to the backroom coaching staff as well Paul Gustard and Steve Borthwick having done exceptional jobs. He’s brought some experts in as well, during the World Cup you hear George Smith had come in as well as Jonny Wilkinson, snippets of real world class coming in and helping the squad out and sometimes giving a different perspective on things.

You hear the noises coming out of the England players that they want to be the best players in the world now and that boils down to the culture and mindset that Jones has instilled, yet the New Zealand talk is a bit premature for me seeing as they don’t play them for another 2 years. You just take each challenge as it comes now and Eddie Jones has had nine tests and won all nine.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: Dylan Hartley, the England captain, lifts the Cook Cup and celebrates with team mates after their series victory during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at Allianz Stadium on June 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The aspects wherein I feel Jones has exceeded where perhaps predecessor Stuart Lancaster lacked has been his man management style which has brought the best out of individual players by understanding each character. You can’t treat every player the same in a team environment, some players respond really well to getting a bit of a rollicking and they like proving coaches wrong. Other players like Haskell like having an arm put around them and telling them how good they are, same with Billy Vunipola from what I hear.

Eddie Jones has mastered the understanding of each individual player.

He’s given them all confidence, he has let them go for a beer for squad unity and getting on well with eachother, whereas you hear from Lancaster’s era that it was very rigid in how everything was done. There was no space to go and relax and get to know eachother, it was very straight down the line focused, which sometimes works for some people, doesn’t work for every character. What Eddie Jones has mastered is yes he is a hard task master, training is very intense and you hear people like George Ford saying that they are getting a lot of confidence from the intensity that they are training at. You see how well training is going so they work exceptionally hard in that aspect but also enjoying eachothers company off the field and getting to know each other better which produces better results on the field too.

What really spoke volumes for me from Jones over the duration of the series is not only the confidence he instills in his players, but also the backing he has in himself, he’s not scared to make a big decision. He had the confidence to go and make a decision that he believes in, many people could have questioned was he right to pull players after half an hour, well the proof is in the pudding it changed the game and worked for England and those guys will wipe their wounds a bit and I’m sure they’ll go back to their clubs and try and work exceptionally hard to try and get another bite at the cherry but he’s not going to write those players off.

What he wants to do is for everyone to strive to be better and to become what he considers world class players.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: England celebrate in the dressing room after their series victory during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at Allianz Stadium on June 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

What Next For England’s Crusading Conquest

The World Cup chat is way too premature for me, it is not until 2019 which makes it crazy talking about that sort of stuff now. I think what you’ve got to do is build year on year and the age profile of the squad is fantastic, the average age of the starting team in Australia was 24/25 so if you think of that going forward there is massive potential there but lets not get ahead of ourselves.

At the 2015 World Cup we were exceptionally poor and Eddie Jones has come in and flipped the squad around. You’ve had Itoje come in and what a season he has had, he has not lost a game he has started which is absolutely ridiculous. A lot of it is similar to the players who went to the World Cup, you look at Robshaw post tournament he was hung out to dry a bit and people pointed the finger at him. He said it himself it was the toughest year of his life, however he has gone from some real dark days to real success in how he has performed in making his 50th cap.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: (L-R) Dylan Hartley, Mike Brown, James Haskell, Paul Hill and Chris Robshaw of England sing the anthem during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and England at Suncorp Stadium on June 11, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

I think its way too premature to talk about the lets play NZ tomorrow stuff, you go into the next series of games we play in November where we will face Fiji, South Africa, Argentina and Australia; Jones will review what went well and what needs to be improved. He continually strives for world class scores in what he considers fitness levels, skill application and endeavour. I think it’s a non stop work ethic that he is trying to instill in people to try and improve themselves everytime they step out onto the pitch in an England shirt, I think the results have spoken for themselves so far but you’ve got to back it up, the All Blacks do it year on year

So to talk about the next World Cup in 2019 and we can win it, brilliant ya we can, you just need to continue working year on year and improving, you can’t have a team that peaks and troughs.

Eddie Jones wants an improvement and he has set the bar pretty high with with nine from nine, you look at our next four games at Twickenham and I expect us to win all four of those with the state the squads in and how well English rugby is looking and Eddie Jones has been a huge part of that going forward.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.