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Where does Jones' allegiance lie?


'Does Eddie support England or Australia in the Ashes... who actually knows?'

Elliot Daly believes having England’s cricketers currently playing Australia in the Ashes is a positive distraction as Eddie Jones’ rugby squad continues preparations for the Rugby World Cup in Japan. 

The five-match series, which opened last Thursday at Edgbaston, is a hot topic of conversation among the rugby players, although Daly is not quite sure which country their Australian coach Jones is supporting. 

“Does he support England or Australia? Who actually knows? To be fair to Eddie he likes any sporting event. He likes the challenge of it. We will be discussing batting orders maybe and opening combinations.

“I won’t be in a room watching it with Eddie but I’m sure we will discuss it over a coffee. He loves his cricket and always wants to know what is going on, so I’m sure I will be informed and keep updating him with the latest score.

“I spoke with Jamie George about it the other morning. We were trying to choose our team. The lads love a bit of cricket and especially the Ashes and World Cup. It adds to our talk a lot.”

England’s recent World Cup success demonstrated to Daly and co what is achievable if they stick to their rugby guns in Japan. “It was a great day,” he said, recalling how the rugby squad watched the cricket final at their team base in Bristol some weeks ago.

“We delayed the meeting by probably 45 minutes because of the Super Over and how close the game was. It was an unbelievable finish and unbelievable for them to win the World Cup in the same year that we are trying to win the World Cup.”

It slipped Daly’s mind, though, to rub the result into John Mitchell, the England defence coach who has strong New Zealand cricket connections. 

“That’s a good question, I don’t actually know (how he took the result). I’m sure he took it very well but I think his son plays for New Zealand (Twenty20), doesn’t he? I might actually get a bit stuck into him about that.”  

Daly dabbled with the bat growing up, playing with Jason Roy, England’s Ashes opener, at school and at Surrey age-grade. However, now fully ensconced in a successful rugby career, there has never been a moment when he wished he stuck with cricket instead. 

“No, never… although the lifestyle of a cricketer does look quite good. But moving around a lot of the time can be annoying and not being with your family for probably two, three, four, five months at a time compared to the month we do can be a little tough. No, I’m happy with my choice.”

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'Does Eddie support England or Australia in the Ashes... who actually knows?'
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