Rugby

Wilkinson offered England role by Jones

2016-01-17 13:52
Jonny Wilkinson (File)

London - Eddie Jones has revealed how he offered former adversary Jonny Wilkinson a place on his England coaching staff after meeting with the legendary goal-kicker in a supermarket.

The pair were on opposite sides when Wilkinson's last-ditch drop-goal saw England to a thrilling 2003 World Cup final win in Sydney over an Australia side coached by Jones.

Now the Australian, the first foreigner to coach the Red Rose brigade, has been given the task of reviving England's fortunes after the hosts suffered the crushing disappointment of a first-round exit at last year's World Cup -- a tournament where Jones guided Japan to a shock win over South Africa.

Wilkinson has been employed as a part-time coach by Toulon, the reigning European champions, having finished his stellar career with the French club.

Jones's initial talks with Wilkinson, which took place in a supermarket near England's training base in Bagshot, south-west of London, were inconclusive but the coach said he remained hopeful of getting the former flyhalf on board.

"We would like to get Jonny involved, but he's quite a private person. We are having chats about it," Jones said.

"I saw him down at Waitrose shopping with a beanie over his head. I had coffee with him."

As well as his technical knowledge, Jones said that that Wilkinson's dedication to training could inspire the England squad.

"After we had coffee he went and did a kicking session and he doesn't play any more. Why was he one of the best in the world? Because he did that. That's the difference," Jones said.

"A good player has that little bit extra, and we are talking about two or three percent extra. He does that little bit of extra analysis, stretches, goes for a swim and takes a bag of balls to kick.

"I want that attitude and I want to see how desperate they are to become a better player."

England's first match under Jones will be the Calcutta Cup clash away to Scotland on February 6.

Read more on:    england  |  jonny wilkinson  |  eddie jones  |  rugby
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