Eddie Jones is one of the most respected coaches in rugby union. The Australian led his country to the final of the World Cup in 2003, before losing to England after extra time. He went one better four years later with South Africa as assistant, and led Japan to an historic campaign last Autumn in England.
He now takes over the Red Rose, keen to lead them back to the sport’s top table.
However, he has needed some help along the way.
In an interview with the BBC Sport, Jones reveals that he spent a day with Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, after which he was “embarrassed about how badly I had been coaching”.
“I like watching other sports and was always fascinated by the way Barcelona played.
“I loved the way they moved the ball into space, and particularly coaching Japan where I had a small team we had to move the ball and beat teams by moving the ball.
“So I thought, ‘if there’s one bloke in the world I should see, then it should be him [Guardiola]’.
“Luckily enough I was able to organise it and spend a really profitable day with him.
“I think I said I was embarrassed at the end about how badly I had been coaching for the previous two years, how hard he worked the players – these are the best players in the world, earning £300,000 a week and he was driving them to be better.
“It was all about working off the ball. I thought ‘if this guy can do it then [so can we].”
This lesson certainly paid off for the former Japan coach, as he led to Brave Blossoms to a famous victory over South Africa in the World Cup, and followed up by recording wins against Samoa and USA.
Guardiola is hailed as a genius within footballing circles, but when such high praise comes in for the man from another discipline, it is clear that he is special.
Hat-tip to Goal.com.