Eddie seems ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Andrew Roar Pro

By Andrew, Andrew is a Roar Pro

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    With it being two years since England’s early World Cup exit on home soil, and just under two years until Japan 2019 kicks off, Eddie Jones has officially entered (you guessed it) phase two of his reign as England coach.

    This is a critical juncture for Jones, as the next 12 months will give him ample opportunity to assess which of his squad will be up for the challenge of the World Cup, and which will be shipped off to the rugby glue factory, also known as the Japanese Top League.

    This will culminate in a mouth-watering match against the All Blacks on November 10 next year – the first time they will have clashed in four years and a true marker of their potential performance in 2019.

    However, Jones’ men have quite a bit of rugby to play before then, beginning with their Twickenham Test against Argentina on November 11, and including a full slate of Autumn Internationals, the Six Nations and a tour of South Africa.

    The Aviva Premiership is a much higher quality proposition than it was even a few years ago, and this season has promised to be a cracker, however at present it resembles M*A*S*H, with the likes of Billy Vunipola, Jack Nowell, Chris Robshaw and Tom Wood all spending time on the sidelines amidst an injury crisis across all clubs.

    Perhaps the best thing that could’ve happened for Jones to prepare for this was the two-Test tour of Argentina in June. Being shorn of his Lions call-ups enabled him to throw several newcomers in at the deep end, with most swimming and not sinking.

    This will come in handy as surely by September ’19 he will need to have moved on from the angriness of Mike Brown, the thuggishness of Dylan Hartley, the stupidity of Manu Tuilagi (still dining off his 2012 All Blacks game) and the witless ‘banter’ of James Haskell.

    There is a theory that bounds around football regarding how certain managers are destined to be restrained by the law of diminishing returns, best demonstrated recently by Roberto Martinez at Everton and Slaven Bilic at West Ham. They had both replaced very safe, plaid and pragmatic managers, and their loosening of the previous regime’s constraints, combined with adding their motivational spirit, instantly turned the teams around, leading them to unprecedented heights.

    By mid-way through their second seasons the magic had worn off, and their third seasons were disasters (Bilic’s third-season disaster is currently unfolding).

    After the loss to Ireland in March this year, I thought this effect could take hold, as Jones had re-invigorated everything to do with English rugby after taking over from the headmaster-like Stuart Lancaster. Perhaps this was the ‘magic wearing off’ moment?

    Instead, it was a blip – Jones has taken full advantage of the groundwork that Lancaster laid, and elevated players like Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje into some of the best in their position in the world.

    Jones appears to be a different man to the one who presided over the Reds’ 92-3 loss in 2007 (never forget!), with the spikiness and belligerence being replaced with more of a wink and a nod, a piss-taking element if you like, in most his ‘out there’ comments. His willingness to learn from outside influences, such as football genius Pep Guardiola, are impressive and breaks the mould of ‘proper rugby men’ being obsessed with rugby, and rugby only.

    A life-changing stroke in 2013, in the midst of his time as coach of Japan, more than likely has something to do with his second wind as a top-class international coach, with all the perspective that sort of event brings.

    If Eddie Jones can keep England on the upward trajectory they are on, he should be feted as an Australian rugby legend. Take it easy on the Wallabies though, mate.

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    The Crowd Says (62)

    • October 13th 2017 @ 5:32am
      P2R2 said | October 13th 2017 @ 5:32am | ! Report

      His ego will be his un-doing…and England’s

      • Roar Guru

        October 13th 2017 @ 9:13am
        The Saint said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        The Wallabies appear more settled than last year. The game at Twickers next month will be close but I think the WBs will win.

        • Roar Guru

          October 13th 2017 @ 9:53am
          PeterK said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          I don’t

          England have a better coach, and man for man better players, and more depth and they are playing at home.

          If it was their first game of the year then maybe but no he has a couple of warm up games first.

        • October 13th 2017 @ 10:02am
          adastra32 said | October 13th 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report

          Dream on.

        • October 14th 2017 @ 11:42am
          Mapu said | October 14th 2017 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          you know the wallabies have only beaten two teams this year and both outside top 10.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 5:49am
      Kane said | October 13th 2017 @ 5:49am | ! Report

      I believe phase two will be the same as every other team he’ coached.

      The first phase being the initial increase in their performance followed by changing nothing and running out of ideas.

      For that reason I’m picking the Wallabies to topple them this year in London.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 6:02am
      Fionn said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:02am | ! Report

      Great read, Andrew, and I echo the sentiment.

      For the Wallabies’ sake I hope Kane is right. It’ll be interesting to see England over the next 12 months ?

    • October 13th 2017 @ 6:31am
      Galatzo said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:31am | ! Report

      Kane, the WBs won’t even be close. Even with all the injuries, and there are several more besides the guys Andrew mentioned, Eddie will put a pack onto the field that will be way better than ours. Plus he has real speed in the back three and a 10 who rarely misses from the tee. Need another plus? Twickenham. Hard to win there with 85,000 chariots baying for our scalp. The WBs have a tough schedule before they even get to Twickers with the ABs, the Baa Baas, Japan and Wales.

      • Roar Pro

        October 13th 2017 @ 7:53pm
        Andrew said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

        You make a good point about speed at the back – Daley and May are up there with the quickest in the game and Watson, Solomona and Joseph (when he occasionally plays back there) all have pace to burn.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 6:49am
      The Electronic Swagman said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:49am | ! Report

      Very interesting read. I’ve watched England under EJ closely. Certainly as you point out, whether he, and the team, peak too early might depend upon how much real change has occured within his psyche. I note that he has made the growth of coaches and their professional development a real focus.

      However If he brings new players into the team this season after Argentina, players like Sam Underhill, and we see the elevation of players over Hartley as the article suggests, there might well be a timely new surge that takes them to the WC. That would be my prediction.

      • Roar Guru

        October 13th 2017 @ 9:56am
        PeterK said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

        the greater depthe that England has means Jones can refresh the squad and it means his methods don’t become stale since the team has a fair new number of faces come 2019 rwc from when he started.

        • October 13th 2017 @ 10:25am
          Raymond Hawkins said | October 13th 2017 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          I agree. There will be renewed enthusiasm within the squad. Also the looming WC will be a huge motivator.

        • Roar Pro

          October 13th 2017 @ 7:56pm
          Andrew said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:56pm | ! Report

          Compared to his Wallabies, Reds and Japan stints he must be delighted with the depth that English rugby has in comparison. Even blokes like Marland Yarde, who is a very good wing, aren’t getting much of a sniff at the moment.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 9:35am
      The Sheriff said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

      Why are we playing WALES again?

      • October 13th 2017 @ 9:44am
        Fionn said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        Because they’re the one team that the ARU are confident that we can probably get a win against?

        • Roar Guru

          October 13th 2017 @ 9:56am
          PeterK said | October 13th 2017 @ 9:56am | ! Report

          or because wales and aust are in the same rwc pool and this both teams want matches against each other.

        • Roar Pro

          October 13th 2017 @ 7:57pm
          Andrew said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

          Let’s hope so – I’m heading to that game next month and I’m not paying a fortune for the train there and accommodation to watch us finally lose to Wales!

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