Eddie Jones believes coaching stints in Wales helped former All Blacks coaches Graham Henry and Steve Hansen turn the team into back-to-back World Cup champions.
The All Blacks were the first team to win consecutive World Cups during an astonishing period of success plotted by Henry and Hansen.
Henry left the Blues to coach Wales in 1998 and, after early success including a win over England, he became the first overseas coach of the British & Irish Lions in 2001.
He parted ways with Wales after a run of defeats in 2002, with a record of 20 wins, 13 defeats and two draws.
Henry was replaced by Hansen, his assistant, who took charge through to the end of the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Hansen presided over a winless streak of 11 tests at one stage, before guiding Wales to a World Cup quarter-final. He finished with 10 wins in 29 Tests as Wales head coach.
Henry and Hansen teamed up in 2004 with the All Blacks, who whitewashed the British & Irish Lions in the 2005 series. After a demoralising 2007 World Cup quarter-final exit against France in Cardiff, they survived to steer the All Blacks to their first World Cup title in 24 years in 2011.
Henry then retired and Hansen became head coach as the All Blacks retained their World Cup title in 2015.
On his England Rugby podcast, Jones said that Henry and Hansen were ‘two of the best coaches we have seen’ and attributed their World Cup success to knowledge gained of northern-hemisphere rugby traits during their time with Wales.
‘There is definitely a different philosophy in rugby in the southern and northern hemispheres because to the conditions they are played under,’ Jones said.
‘The southern hemisphere is much more about ball usage, you want to have the ball for longer periods of time. The northern hemisphere is more about ball-winning and territory.
‘The coaches who have done best are those who have been brought up to the northern hemisphere then gone back to the southern having learned a lot.
‘Look at Graham Henry and Steve Hansen, two of the best coaches we have seen. They cut their mustard at Wales and learned about the northern-hemisphere game.