England boss Eddie Jones has lauded the World Cup-winning feats of the 2011 and 2015 All Blacks, but he doesn’t believe rugby isn’t a sport designed to have global superstars such as the late Argentina footballer Diego Maradona, whose death on Wednesday at the age of 60 sparked an outpouring of grief around the world. 

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Maradona’s stellar football career has been much celebrated with the compilation of multiple highlights reels showing off his immense individual prowess on the pitch and the coverage around the world that his tragic passing has garnered illustrated the pulling power that a single footballer can have. 

Maradona was the talisman whose fantastic performances drove Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986 in Mexico before he went on to drag lowly Napoli from the doldrums to win an Italian league that no-one gave them a chance of winning.  

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TJ Perenara and Caleb Clarke set the scene ahead of the All Blacks vs Argentina rematch this weekend

That similar type of individual influence, though, is something Australian Jones doesn’t feel possible in rugby due to the nature of what is involved in that sport in order to be successful. 

“Maradona was one of those guys who captured the whole world, didn’t he? Rugby has never been as such an individual sport, it has been more of a team sport,” said Jones, going on to mention the All Blacks.

“If I’m in the pub and I’m talking about great teams, I’m talking about that great All Blacks team in 2011 and 2015. They didn’t have Maradona but they had some great players and they had a great team.

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“The great thing about our game is it’s a team game, it’s a complex game, you need people working with each other and I don’t think it matters whether rugby has got someone like that [Maradona]. The big thing is that we play rugby with a spirit and a passion that people want to see.”

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