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England can expect again under first foreign coach Eddie Jones

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | November 19, 2015

Eddie Jones appointed by England

  • Tasmania native took Australia to 2003 Rugby World Cup final
  • Wallabies finished runners up to Red Rose
  • Jones had revenge as South Africa assistant four years later
  • Masterminds Japan’s 2015 tournament opening win over Springboks

Rugby Union - World Cup 2003 - Final - England v Australia

Eddie Jones couldn’t beat England in the biggest game of his coaching career, so a dozen years on from the 2003 Rugby World Cup final he has decided to join them.

Never before have the Red Rose had a foreign head coach, and now they have appointed a Tasmanian devil. Punters can forgive the pun, but former Wallabies boss Jones is that good.

Given what he has accomplished in this sport, there is finally some credence behind Coral tagging England as 2/1 favourites for the 2016 Six Nations.

BRITAIN HEINEKEN CUP RUGBY

All British Isles outfits are now managed by Southern Hemisphere coaches, as Jones comes from a land Down Under to stop New Zealand natives Vern Cotter, Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt running roughshod over European rugby.

International experience key

The RFU made it crystal clear when they axed Stuart Lancaster that their preference was for a coach who had experience of taking charge of national sides. Jones ticked that box better than any other candidate linked to the role.

After Australia, he became a consultant to Jake White’s South Africa, who enjoyed a triumphant 2007 Rugby World Cup. Jones thus avenged his personal loss to the Red Rose four years earlier. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot will now serenade him every time England turn out at Twickenham after he penned a four-year contract with England.

Winning the old Tri Nations with the Wallabies and his contribution to the 2007 Springboks success apart, it is the sterling recent work with Japan’s national side that has earned Jones even more plaudits.

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Pool B - USA v Japan - Kingsholm Stadium

The Brave Blossoms lived up to their name, shocking his old employers South Africa in probably the biggest upset in Rugby World Cup history during this year’s pool stage. It is thanks to Jones that Japan can now count themselves among the top 10 nations playing the sport.

Ringing endorsements

People previously connected with Jones have been falling over themselves to sing his praises ahead of his appointment.

Ex-Springboks second row Bakkies Botha said: “He’s an awesome human being and a coach. When you play against a team that Eddie Jones coaches you know you will get a surprise package in the game.

“He coached the Japanese team and they outplayed the Springboks through cleverness, not brutality or strength and that’s the type of coach Eddie is.”

Rugby Union - Rugby World Cup 2015 - Australia Captain's Run - Twickenham Stadium

Current Australia captain Stephen Moore, meanwhile, talked up Jones’ focus on the small things. “He’s very thorough,” the Wallabies skipper said.

“You get a lot of attention to detail with Eddie. He’s a very professional coach, and he knows what is important to win and how to prepare teams to win.”

Sea change from Stormers to Calcutta Cup

Jones had agreed to coach South African outfit the Stormers in next year’s Southern Hemisphere Super Rugby, but the lure of international management has proved too strong and instead his focus now shifts to his opening Red Rose fixture north of the border at Murrayfield on February 6th.

Contesting the Calcutta Cup away to an improving Scotland under Kiwi coach Cotter is far from the easiest of baptisms for Jones. The Tartan team arguably acquitted themselves best of the British Isles sides at the recent Rugby World Cup, losing by a single point in the quarter-finals to Australia amid that controversial refereeing decision.

If the joy Jones got with Japan during the first-half of their pool stage meeting is any indicator, though, then he will have a plan for taking on this most inhospitable of hosts for the Red Rose.

Borthwick to be brought into England backroom?

Rugby Union - Japan Training Session - Brighton College

Speculation has also mounted that Bristol forwards coach and ex-England skipper Steve Borthwick will once again work with Jones, having served him in that capacity with the Brave Blossoms and as a player during a tumultuous time at Saracens.

Supporters of that side shall hardly wax lyrical about Jones, who has previously admitted his position as director of rugby there was not a happy one.

Borthwick is a member of the Red Rose’s recent past, though not the 2003 vintage, but his excellent work to instil discipline into Japan’s forwards should stand England in good stead ahead of the Six Nations starting.

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