Eddie Jones Reveals He Was Stunned By The England Players When He First Took Over
Eddie Jones says he was shocked when he first took over England. In a telling interview with England Rugby, the former Japan coach could not believe just how unfit the players were when he first arrived.
Jones says after 20 minutes, most of them were gassed, but he was impressed with just how quickly they adapted to the level he wanted from them.
“Very poor. I couldn’t believe it. I thought when I’d coach England that immediately they would be better than the Japanese side and I thought their fitness was just so poor.” Jones said when asked what his first impressions of England were when he arrived.
“After 20 minutes the team was shot. The team couldn’t train any longer.”
“But then I was pleasantly surprised after four weeks how quickly the players adapted to the new training regime. How quickly their mindset was changing. And I thought, this team has got so much potential, the main thing I have to do is to get them to believe that they’ve got the potential to be the number one team in the world. Because the players were performing well under where they should have been.”
Jones famously said that England don’t have an ‘world class players’ and when asked how they stand now he says there are three players ‘knocking on that door‘ but refused to name any names. In terms of the younger players in the squad and their potential, Jones was once again critical of his team.
“I think there’s a lot of good players here, but they lack competitive desire. I say that very clearly. They lack the desire to work hard to be the best. And the challenge for those young players coming through is whether they want to make the right choices and work hard and work on their rugby.”
“Our job is to make these players absolutely competitive, every minute of the day.”
You can watch part one and part two of Jones’ fascinating exclusive interview with England Rugby below.