Rugby

Jones content to be the perennial outsider

2017-12-30 15:22
Eddie Jones (Getty)

London - England head coach Eddie Jones draws strength from the fact he has always been considered an outsider, from his days growing up in Australia to his years of success in rugby.

The 57-year-old Australian - whose Japanese mother Nellie was interned in an American camp during World War II - says taking on the England job after Stuart Lancaster paid the price for a disastrous first round exit in the 2015 World Cup didn't cost him any sleep.

With England, Jones has certainly given rivals sleepless nights, losing just one match in 23 - Ireland preventing a second successive Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year.

His achievements in restoring lustre and pride to the England team earned him the world coach of the year award for 2017.

"I have always been an outsider," Jones, who led Australia to the 2003 World Cup final, was technical director of the South African team that won four years later and coached Japan to a shock victory over South Africa in 2015, told Saturday's edition of The Times.

"In Australia I am an outsider, in Japan I am an outsider. In South Africa I was an outsider.

"That has always been the case so I don't find that daunting at all.

"It helps sometimes."

Jones, the master of psychological banter in the lead-up to matches, says that his determination to re-establish the fighting spirit in the England team has been helped by several strong characters such as volatile hooker Dylan Hartley.

Jones, who suffered racial abuse when he was a youngster, installed Hartley as captain despite critics fearing the New Zealand born hooker's poor disciplinary record would harm the team.

"It's funny, as an Australian I am trying to bring out the best in the English; they are tough, they want to fight, to keep going. That is how we want to play," said Jones.

"I think we have the right characters. Dylan has helped in that regard, Owen Farrell is naturally quite an aggressive person. Maro (Itoje) is a guy who doesn't fear anything in the world."

Jones, who forsook the job with South African Super Rugby franchise The Stormers when England came calling, says the least of his concerns is earning honorary Englishman status.

"I don't think about that," said Jones.

"I put my heart on my sleeve. I give it everything I have got. Every minute that I have, I give it to developing the team.

"I wanted to prove that an Australian could coach in South Africa. So the only reason that I took the England job is that I thought they had a potentially great team coming."

Read more on:    england  |  eddie jones  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Who will finish top of the SA Conference in this year's Super Rugby tournament?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.