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The one similarity Eddie Jones sees with Michael and Louis Lynagh

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Eddie Jones was rather dismissive during the summer when the content of a trenchant tweet posted by Michael Lynagh was put to him shortly after he had confirmed an England summer series squad that didn’t include Louis, the Premiership title-winning son of the Wallabies legend. Lynagh junior had just played a try-scoring part in the swashbuckling Harlequins win over Exeter at Twickenham. 


However, there wasn’t even a sniff of him getting included in the England squad to take on the USA the following weekend, a snub that Lynagh senior soon tackled on Twitter due to his son’s eligibility: English through residency, Australian through his famous father and Italian through birth.

Lynagh tweeted: “Qualified for England, Australia and Italy. Italy and Australia have contacted him within the last fortnight. The RFU/England Rugby have NEVER spoken to him about his intentions and goals. Strange, given that the now head of rugby once flew from Italy to ask a 17-year-old to commit to Italy.”

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Jack Nowell guests on the latest episode of RugbyPass Offload
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Jack Nowell guests on the latest episode of RugbyPass Offload

Some days later, ahead of that weekend’s July 4 Test match, Jones dismissively responded to the Lynagh social media post. “I’m not aware of the tweet and I am only here to talk about players who have been selected,” he said. 

However, the England coach had a very different stance this week when Lynagh became one of eight uncapped players included in the latest squad and he warmly embraced a query on how well he knew Michael Lynagh from his own playing days back in Australia. 

“I played against Noddy a few times,” he recalled, harking back to the pre-Super Rugby days when the Australian provincial sides took part in an all-local tournament before the sport turned pro. “I remember it was the forerunner to the Super 12 and New South Wales won five games, it was like a miracle. We went to Queensland and if we won we would win the competition. We were undefeated and Queensland hadn’t won a game, they weren’t doing very well. But it was pouring with rain, it was like being in Leicester. Rain coming down at Ballymore and he [Lynagh] is just putting these high balls up and I remember David Knox was playing full-back and he couldn’t catch them that day and they ended up beating us by 30 points. 


“That is my memory of Michael Lynagh. At that stage, I was probably a reasonable chance to play for Australia but that went out the window getting beaten 30-0 by Queensland. I have caught up with him a few times. He was involved with Saracens, he was one of Nigel Wray’s trusted friends. He is a good guy. The similarity is the power. Michael was a very powerful ten or twelve, really thick-set around his thighs, and Louis has got that ability to power through defenders.”


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