ENGLAND FOOTBALL MANAGER Gareth Southgate said it had been “fascinating” to spend time with Eddie Jones as a rival rugby coach compared the Australian to legendary football manager Brian Clough.
The England rugby union team are on a national record 15-match winning streak heading into their Six Nations clash against Wales on Saturday, with 14 of those wins coming since Jones took over following the team’s first-round exit on home soil at the 2015 World Cup.
Jones’s men are the reigning Six Nations champions, having won last year’s title with a Grand Slam.
“I think you’re always looking for new ideas,” Southgate told englandrugby.com on Wednesday.
The England football team have not won a major trophy since the late Bobby Moore lifted the 1966 World Cup at Wembley and last year their involvement at the European Championships in France ended with a humiliating 2-1 loss to minnows Iceland in the last 16.
Defeat marked the end of Roy Hodgson’s reign as England football manager and the start of a process that led to his eventual replacement by Southgate.
Having met with Jones, former England defender Southgate said: “You go away with loads of ideas and things you want to implement. It is great to be alongside people who experience the same sort of scenarios you’re in.
Southgate added: “Eddie is a vastly experienced coach. He has coached at international level for a long time, so to get an idea of his thoughts and observations around what we do — for a young coach like me — is fascinating to hear.”
Meanwhile, Shaun Edwards, the defence coach of the Welsh team that will face Jones’s men in Cardiff this weekend, said the England boss was “great for rugby”.
Jones, deploying typically colourful language, said this week that he could not understand why England were “petrified” of playing in Cardiff, although an overall poor record in the Welsh capital is offset by the fact that honours at the Principality Stadium between the teams have been shared in the Six Nations era.