England whitewash a triumph of unity and consistency

Eddie Jones arrived with the stated intention of wanting to take his side to no.1 in the world, and on current form, you’d have to think they’re the team most likely to knock the All Blacks from their long-held and comfortable perch. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: From the outset of their tour, and even before they’d arrived, Eddie Jones made no secret that he wanted to leave Australian shores with the Cook Cup under his arm. The English Rose on his chest has been as prominent on this tour as has the smile on his face, and with the cup retained, it’s hard to know which is shining more.

Jones has united England rugby when they were standing on shaky ground, and has completed a remarkable turnaround with largely the same playing group. He’s united the playing group, furthermore, and has them on a track in which they firmly believe they can beat anyone.

 

Behind the bravado, there’s a very humble Eddie Jones

Jones, on getting the England job: "I know the RFU contacted people as far back as during my time at the Brumbies. They basically went through every team that I’d ever been involved with." Image: ABC Grandstand

Jones, on getting the England job: “I know the RFU contacted people as far back as during my time at the Brumbies. They basically went through every team that I’d ever been involved with.” Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: When I spoke with England coach Eddie Jones last month, it was an interview like no other I’d done previously. Everything I thought I knew about how interviews are organised and come together was thrown out the window.

For one thing, I didn’t actually arrange the interview; it was arranged for me. And it wasn’t a case of me just calling Eddie. The RFU media guys called me, on the number I supplied, at the arranged time. Smack bang on the arranged time, in fact, and with a courtesy call about three-quarters of an hour ahead of time, to make sure I was still good to talk with the England Coach. Very military precise. Very weird.

With the First Test now just days away, I thought that Eddie Jones was worth sharing, word-for-word, on a couple of different topics..

Australia v England – roll on the ‘Cheika & Jones’ show

Behind all those brilliant Randwick players of the 1980s sat a crafty and clever hooker named Jones, and a brash and abrasive young no.8 named Cheika.

Behind all those brilliant Randwick players of the 1980s sat a crafty and clever hooker named Jones, and a brash and abrasive young no.8 named Cheika. Now they’ll face off as coaches of England and Australia…

My Australian column for June is out now on Rugby365, in which I give a little bit of background as to why the upcoming Wallabies-England series – and all the Michael Cheika-Eddie Jones shenanigans that comes with it – is what we’ve all been looking forward to…

As soon as the Wallabies beat England in the pool stage of last season’s World Cup, the first step in England not progressing in their own tournament, the return bout over three Tests on Australian soil this month became highly anticipated.

And when the Rugby Football Union did the right thing by us and replaced Stuart Lancaster with former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones, tickets for the three-Test series practically sold themselves.

The talking points: very weird mid-season rugby-free weekend

The Socceroos: what you’ll find when you attempt to watch Super Rugby on Saturday night. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: I still don’t get it. And I don’t really know it took me until on a fortnight ago to put two and two together. But here we are. Super Rugby ended last weekend; the first June Tests start next weekend. It’s dangerous times for the southern hemisphere rugby fans.

And there’s no point me telling you what to do this weekend; it’s every rugby fan for themselves. Some will elect to head down the sappy path and go and ‘reconnect’ with their ‘families’. Others will see an opportunity for the long overdue comeback on the playing field.

I don’t know what path you’ll take; I just hope you avoid the ambush of odd jobs around the house. Here’s the talking points for whatever we’re supposed to call this weekend:

  • So, why do we have a weekend off?
  • Judiciary lotto strikes again;
  • ARU takeover has a lot of potential for the Western Force;
  • Sonny Blues Williams, and
  • Oh no, Eddie Jones is on to us…