Eddie Jones Says He’s Considering Converting England Winger Into An Openside Flanker
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England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed he’s considering trying out Exeter Chiefs winger Jack Nowell at seven as the Australian bids to mix things up ahead of the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.
Jones says the game has changed and that Nowell is “going to be the new breed of player” going forward. He reckons the game will start to see ‘hybrid’ players who are equally comfortable in the backs as they are the forwards.
“We haven’t tried him out but he is definitely an option at seven (openside flanker),” he explained.
“He has great ball carrying, great tackling skill; he puts his head over the ball, he’s a tough little bloke.
“He is going to be the new breed of player. The game has changed. The game used to be 80 minutes, now it is 100 minutes.
“The next change is you will have players who can play backs and forwards.”
Jones has also reveal he could look at playing nine forwards, as opposed to the traditional eight we see in teams now. Jones says the extra member in the pack could stand at “blindside wing”, revealing he’s tested this out with Japan.
“There are great opportunities in the game to change it. There is no reason why you can’t play nine forwards. [The extra forward] could stand [at] blindside wing.” Jones added
“When Japan played Georgia we played nine forwards. No one knew. It’s like in football, 4-4-2. Everyone used to play that.
“Then it became 5-3-2-1 or whatever it was [5-3-2], so there is no reason in rugby why there might not be changes in formations. I’m serious that there are opportunities to change the game because it has become so orthodox. Be really good at the core things but look at opportunities where you can change it.”