England coach Eddie Jones has been inspired by the attitude and approach of former World Cup-winner Jonny Wilkinson and football coach Pep Guardiola.
Jones had a chance meeting with Wilkinson after bumping into him at a Bagshot supermarket, south-west of London, and wasted no time in offering him a role in his new-look coaching group.
‘We would like to get Jonny involved, but he's quite a private person. We are having chats about it,’ Jones said. ‘After we had coffee, he went and did a kicking session and he doesn't play any more. Why was he one of the best in the world? Because he did that. That's the difference … I want that attitude [in the English players] and I want to see how desperate they are to become a better player.’
While Wilkinson’s fastidious approach to training is well known in rugby circles, Jones admitted he had also been taken aback after meeting with Guardiola, who is the coach at German club Bayern Munich.
‘I talk to a lot of people. I try to meet people who are smarter than me. Last year in November was one of the best meetings I had. I went to Bayern Munich and met Pep Guardiola. It was absolutely fascinating. I watched him taking a training session and it made me embarrassed by my coaching – he was so bloody brilliant.
‘He has got some of the best players in the world – Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller – and he just worked them so hard,’ Jones added. ‘It was -3°C and they came off the field dripping with sweat, they had worked that hard.’
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