Jones shares ex­per­tise to help turn game into ‘world’s No 1 sport’

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Rugby Union - By Gavin Mairs

Ed­die Jones has re­vealed that he has been shar­ing his coach­ing ex­per­tise with emerg­ing na­tions dur­ing the Covid-19 lock­down as part of a bid to make rugby union “the No1 sport in the world”.

The Eng­land head coach has been play­ing a lead role in World Rugby’s vir­tual high-per­for­mance acad­emy, which has in­volved 265 par­tic­i­pants from 33 unions, from the Pa­cific Is­lands to the Amer­i­cas, since its in­cep­tion in May.

Jones, who has been joined by his for­mer Eng­land at­tack coach Scott Wise­man­tel on the panel, in­sists he has no con­cerns about shar­ing his in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty with coaches from tier-two na­tions, be­cause of his de­sire to im­prove the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the in­ter­na­tional game.

“The great thing about rugby, there’s no se­crets,” Jones said. “It’s a pretty sim­ple game. We’ve all got a way of do­ing it, and the more you share how you do it, the more you’ve got to keep look­ing for new ways to do it a lit­tle bit bet­ter.

“I love the game and I want to see rugby be­ing the No1 sport in the world and so if I can play any part in help­ing to grow the sport, I will.

“I was lucky enough in 2006 to do some work for World Rugby in Tonga, Fiji and Samoa, which was a fan­tas­tic rugby and life ex­pe­ri­ence.

“And since then, I’ve vol­un­teered to do work when I can. I coached tier two with Ja­pan, so I un­der­stand how im­por­tant it is to get sup­port from tier-one coun­tries. I re­ally en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence of shar­ing knowl­edge with other coun­tries. It helps you to keep grow­ing.”

The pro­gramme has cen­tred on seven streams of coach­ing: ath­letic per­for­mance, match of­fi­cials, per­for­mance an­a­lyt­ics, high-per­for­mance man­age­ment and lead­er­ship, team man­age­ment and tour­na­ment op­er­a­tions. It also fea­tured con­tri­bu­tions from Craig Jou­bert, World Rugby’s ref­eree tal­ent de­vel­op­ment coach, and Mike Fri­day, United States men’s sevens coach.

“Scott’s been run­ning the acad­emy, so it’s been a plea­sure to work with him again,” Jones added. “They’ve been fas­ci­nat­ing days. You start in the Pa­cific and you end up in the Amer­i­cas in the course of one day. And I’ve been giv­ing cour­ses on un­struc­tured at­tack and just cre­at­ing a high-per­for­mance en­vi­ron­ment. Hope­fully it’s been use­ful.

“I have re­ally en­joyed the in­ter­ac­tion – hear­ing about dif­fer­ent ideas that coaches are do­ing and how maybe some­times they can do it in a dif­fer­ent way that will help.

“And par­tic­u­larly from a World Rugby point of view, I re­ally en­joy the cul­tural nu­ances of how each coun­try goes about their rugby.”

Pass­ing on knowl­edge: Ed­die Jones has been tak­ing part in cour­ses for tier-two na­tions

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