England head coach Eddie Jones insists he is trying ‘to be a reasonable person’ after being criticized for his man-management style and behind-the-scenes staff turnover.
Following a Times article describing a demanding environment for players and coaches, the Australian responded to the claims.
The Red Rose has constantly seen an overhaul of the coaching staff, with John Mitchell being the latest to leave after joining Wasps.
Mitchell’s exit is the latest example of the staff turnover that has persisted since Jones took over in late 2015 with assistant coaches, physios, doctors, analysts and psychologists leaving at an alarming rate.
And while England crashed out to their worst Six Nations performance earlier this year by finishing fifth, their head coach remains defiant about his managerial style.
strive to be fair
“These things happen. Everyone has an opinion on how you operate. I can’t say it’s right or wrong, I try to be a reasonable person,” Jones told BT Sport.
“I coached for a good period of time and there were probably times when I wasn’t as nice as I would have liked to be. But I strive to be fair all the time and I can’t wait to see where this team goes.
“The only thing you can do is respond and the only way we will respond is to play good rugby, so that’s what we intend to do.”
‘Brutal’ was one of the words used to describe the way Jones treats his staff, but the 61-year-old said: “I think the fact that I was a coach during that time would indicate that it’s not not the truth..
“Has there been a high turnover of staff? There has been turnover in some areas where we have sought to renew staff.
“This is my sixth year in this position and you would expect that from your support staff. I think we have very good staff here and we appreciate their hard work.
Jones bristled when asked if he considered himself “old school”.
” No I will not. At all. And I don’t even know what that means. Some of the best old school coaches are the best coaches,” Jones said.
England chose an inexperienced team misses several of his old guards such as Billy and Mako Vunipola and George Ford as Jones looks to build a new team in the Fall Nations Series.
Marcus Smith is seen as the player to chart a new direction and for the first time Jones has confirmed the 22-year-old will start at fly-half, with captain Owen Farrell set up at inside centre.
The victim of Smith’s unstoppable rise is Ford, who has been magnificent for Leicester but has no role to play against Tonga, Australia and South Africa over the next few weeks.
“We know George is a good player and we asked him to look at a few things in his game to make it better,” Jones said.
“He does and plays behind a dominant attacking pack at Leicester. He plays well. But we are keen to give Marcus and Owen the opportunity to play at 10 and 12 to see where they can go and take our game.
“I think we need to get a lot more aggressive at the start of receiving the ball and we’re keen to see what Marcus and Owen can do together.”
If you are the boss of England, what is the first name on your team sheet? 🌹
— Rugby on BT Sport (@btsportrugby) October 31, 2021
Despite the influence of Smith and Farrell, however, it is another player who is first on Jones’ team roster.
“Someone who has done remarkably well for England is Tom Curry. Look at the way his game has been developed,” Jones said.
“He came into the team on the last Lions tour in 2017 and since then he’s played six, seven and eight for us. I can really see his game moving to another level.
“He came in as a very strong defensive player, but I think he can really step up his attacking game now, like (former New Zealand captain) Richie McCaw did. limit to where his game can go.
Winger Louis Lynagh has been recalled to the England squad for the fall, but scrum-half Harry Randall has a hip injury and Alex Mitchell is taking his place.
“We have to enjoy every moment before the World Cup” – Tom Curry
Meanwhile, two years away from the 2023 Rugby World Cup, England can’t afford to waste time heading into this year’s Autumn Nations Series.
That’s the word of England defender Tom Curry, who, after shining for his country at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, is determined to make the most of every moment as they prepare for the next installment of the world showpiece. in France.
“It’s exciting – it’s the feeling. With the experience I had in 2019, you understand how quickly this happens,” the Sale and Lions flanker said.
“So it’s about making sure you really understand what’s going on in every single thing you do day in and day out.”