May: England coaches must be given time

Tue, Jan 12, 2016, Posted by   print

2007 World Cup

12:30 PM GMT

It seems a long time ago now that England made their disappointing exit from the Rugby World Cup. Everyone had an opinion on what the next steps should be, and the RFU and Ian Ritchie made their decision. Eddie Jones will lead England’s finest into the next World Cup in 2019 in Japan but more importantly into Murrayfield against Scotland on Feb. 6 — I can’t wait to see how it all pans out.

The choices that Jones has made in putting together his coaching team will shape the way that England are set up to perform. I love the fact that we have relatively young coaches coming in to guide the side, they will add a huge amount to the squad and the team moving forward. I thought some of the coaches that lost their jobs still had something to offer but that is in the past, we need to look to the future.

Paul Gustard, Steve Borthwick and Ian Peel are coaches that are going to have good careers in the game and they have a fantastic opportunity to leave a big mark on the English game.

I played with and against Borthwick over a number of years after we first played for England Schools in 1997. Back then, I could see the intensity and focus that he gave to his game, especially the lineout and it was an example to be followed. Preparation wasn’t necessarily an area many school boys paid massive attention to back then but his was the most detailed I had ever seen and that is clearly why Jones has seen him as a valued piece of the England management jigsaw; he has the same approach to his coaching methods.

‘Borthers’ has a complete understanding of the game having played more than 390 times at club level and added 57 England caps to his playing CV. This experience will be invaluable for the likes of Joe Launchbury, who many think could be in with a shout of being named captain for the upcoming Six Nations. Young, developing players will be set an example by their coach which is the best way to create ‘go to’ habits. It will give them the confidence in themselves through developing the best practices from one of the best and also allow them to learn from his vast knowledge.

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