England coach Eddie Jones has brought in former captain Will Carling as a leadership mentor in a bid to increase players’ pride in their country.
And Jones has revealed he has long been in communication with Carling, a “specialist in leadership”, as he hopes to improve his squad ahead of next year’s World Cup.
“I have met Will continuously over the last two years and I think he can add value to the senior players in the squad with his experience,” Jones said.
“He joins the great past of England to the present. He’s a bit of a specialist in leadership. He understands English rugby. He understands what made English rugby great.
Thanks everyone for your support today boys really appreciate it and helped us get the result in what was probably the most scrappy boring game since 1976. I’m very excited for the next game I hope many are heading to Twickenham to cheer @LeicesterTigers boys on ?
— Ben Youngs (@benyoungs09) September 30, 2018
“I’m not English – I can’t preach to the players about having pride in England. I don’t attempt to. I’ve long thought we have possibly had a gap in that area.
“Combining Will’s skill of leadership with the knowledge of English history is a nice resource for us to have.”
Jones does not believe this is a new concept either, referring to similar roles with several other international rivals, including New Zealand.
“I have seen it work well for the All Blacks, for Australia, Japan too,” he said. “They all have someone from the past that keeps that connection in place.
“I think that’s important and that is what Will will bring. This is not a coaching job. In a lot of ways, it has got to do specifically with English rugby.
“I want the past to be linked to the present and also then to give the players some additional help with leadership.”
Jones will hope Carling’s involvement doesn’t link to the past too much, with the All Blacks winning 32 of the 40 clashes between the two sides.
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