George taps into cricketers’ secrets
England’s rugby players are tapping into the secrets of their cricketing counterparts’ success via Jamie George, who has been in regular contact in Japan with Sam Billings.
George, 29, and Billings, 28, have been firm friends since sharing a room while boarding at Haileybury school. Billings missed the World Cup triumph in July after dislocating his shoulder, but has been named vice-captain for the current Twenty20 series in New Zealand.
He described England’s rugby display against the same nation as
“incredible” last week, and a source close to the two friends confirmed they had been chatting regularly on Whatsapp.
England’s rugby players took time out to watch the cricketers win the World Cup so dramatically against New Zealand in July. “We were lucky that Eddie is a cricket fan so he pushed a meeting back as it went into the super over,” said George, the hooker, who also struck up a friendship with England cricket captain Eoin Morgan.
“What that England cricket team has done over the last four years has been incredible and there were a lot of parallels between us and them,” George said prior to the tournament. “We have been through very similar challenges.” As well as good luck messages from England cricketers, the players will be cheered on by royalty and pop stars on Saturday, with Prince Harry and Chris Martin lined up as guests. Japanese fans have also promised Eddie Jones can be assured of local support thanks to the nation’s triumph over South Africa at the previous World Cup.
Close: Cricketer Sam Billings (left) and Jamie George are old school friends