Jones wants Wilkinson on his coaching staff

Eddie Jones wants England legend Jonny Wilkinson on his coaching staff

England head coach Eddie Jones has revealed that he offered former England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson a place on his coaching staff ahead of the Six Nations.

Jones says that he bumped into his former adversary Wilkinson in supermarket not far from England’s training base in Bagshot.

The Australian said that while talks with Wilkinson were inconclusive he still has hopes that the former England flyhalf will join his backroom staff.

Wilkinson retired from playing for England in 2011 but continued to play for his French club Toulon and has now retired and has been employed as a part-time coach by the club.

“We would like to get Jonny involved, but he’s quite a private person. We are having chats about it,” Jones said.

“I saw him down at Waitrose shopping with a beanie over his head. I had coffee with him.”

As well as his technical knowledge, Jones said that that Wilkinson’s dedication to training could inspire the England squad.

“After we had coffee he went and did a kicking session and he doesn’t play any more. Why was he one of the best in the world? Because he did that. That’s the difference,” Jones said.

“A good player has that little bit extra, and we are talking about two or three percent extra. He does that little bit of extra analysis, stretches, goes for a swim and takes a bag of balls to kick.

“I want that attitude and I want to see how desperate they are to become a better player.”

Meanwhile Jones said a meeting with rugby fan Pep Guardiola, the coach of German football champions Bayern Munich, in November had left him feeling “embarrassed”.

Jones is renowned for putting his players through their paces but insisted he had nothing on Guardiola, now arguably the world’s leading football manager.

“I talk to a lot of people. I try to meet people who are smarter than me. Last year in November was one of the best meetings I had,” Jones said.

“I went to Bayern Munich and met Pep Guardiola. It was absolutely fascinating.”

“I watched him taking a training session and it made me embarrassed by my coaching — he was so bloody brilliant.

“He has got some of the best players in the world — Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller — and he just worked them so hard.

“It was -3C and they came off the field dripping with sweat, they had worked that hard.”

“The one thing I’m proud about with Japan is that we showed how much you can actually improve as a team and a player if you work hard and are smart enough. It’s not just about working hard, but training smart.”

Jones added: “Pep is a big rugby fan. He studied rugby and European handball to look at how you move the ball into space.”

England’s first match under Jones will be the Calcutta Cup clash away to Scotland on February 6.

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