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