The one similarity Eddie Jones sees with Michael and Louis Lynagh
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.”
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.
How England 'Funbus' Leonard amusingly frightened Wallabies legend Michael Lynagh 16 years ago following an incident at Richmond mini rugby training…#EXEvHAR #GallagherPremFinalhttps://t.co/XrLhdbMAsj
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) June 24, 2021
“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.”
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 21, 2021
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