'I had an interesting start to my life with Eddie. During the World Cup he publicly slated me'
England head coach Eddie Jones has been called “the best man manager I’ve ever worked with,” by former captain Chris Robshaw.
After five years in charge of England, a decision is yet to be made over the Australian’s future after his side’s fifth place finish in the Guinness Six Nations.
But Robshaw has said he “will always be grateful” to Jones for giving him a second opportunity after thinking his international career was over following England’s pool stage exit from the 2015 World Cup.
The 66-cap former England flanker also said he “had a huge amount of respect” for Jones because of his honest approach.
“I think Eddie Jones is the best man manager I’ve ever worked with,” he said on RugbyPass Offload alongside Christina Mahon and Jamie Roberts.
“It’s the little things that people probably take for granted, it’s stuff like in a normal time where we’ll all be in a breakfast room mixing, he’d walk in and acknowledge every single person in the room.
“Also he treats them differently. For someone like myself he was always very honest, we’d have chats and that kind of thing. Someone like a James Haskell who’s a bit of a larger than life character, they would literally take the mick out of each other all day. And that would get the best out of him. Someone like a Jonny May, he gave him responsibility and empowered him and that helped make him the player he is. I think there are things where he does treat people differently and he does test people, but he tests them to see if they’re up to international rugby. That’s what he’s about, he’s about making players better and ready to play international rugby.
“I had an interesting start to my life with Eddie. During the  World Cup he publicly came out and slated me a bit and I, in all honesty, didn’t think I’d play for England again after that. After that we had a good sit down chat, we had a drink together, we sat down for about an hour and a half and we got to know each other. He said “go away and work on these things, and if you can there’ll be a place for you in my team.” I went away and worked on it and he said “yes, there’s a place for you in my team but not as captain.” I was like thank God, I’m looking forward to it. It’s almost like it was a second life for me. I will always be grateful to Eddie for giving me that second opportunity.
'I was going through the motions at my club, put a huge amount of strain on my wife, my friends, my family, my teammates probably and it was definitely a massively tough period for me'https://t.co/y5JIFxoxeP
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) April 8, 2021
“He was always very honest with me. I never tried to muck me around. I remember he dropped me for one of the South Africa games and he said “you’re just not playing as well as you normally do,” and you can’t really argue with that because I wasn’t. I think with that I had a huge amount of respect for him.
“I will always be a bit gutted that he didn’t take me to the next World Cup and a bit resentful for that, but in saying that I’m grateful he gave me a second shot to play for my country.
“When I look at that [2019 World Cup] squad now and I look at the impact both [Tom] Curry and [Sam] Underhill had and you can’t argue with it.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now