Campese on Jones: ‘He’s going to be ruthless’

Date published: January 31 2016

Talk of Eddie Jones pushing his players to the limit is no smokescreen. But the RFU knew that when they paid to hire him.

Jones' has had little time to get his new squad up to speed with his ideas. Then again, you know that every available minute will have been used as productively as possible.

The former Japan head coach made certain at Wednesday's Six Nations launch that everybody knew this is his side. Questions about why certain players haven't been selected were swiftly shot down. "The media don't pick the team, I do."

Ask someone like David Campese what to expect of Jones in charge of England and his description matches what we've seen and heard so far, especially with the rapid assembly of his coaching staff. Jones has been appointed for an immediate impact and plans to deliver one.

"He’ll do the job. He’s got a great reputation, a very tough guy. He’ll pick horses for courses and I don’t think there will be a lot of hanging around," Campese told Planet Rugby.

"Before the Rugby World Cup there was a lot of talk about Stuart Lancaster being the principal and the players being the students. Then about who was really the coach – was Andy Farrell making all the decisions?

"There was a lot of pressure from ex-players looking at the all-Southern Hemisphere semi-finals at the World Cup and saying 'it’s about time we got a foreigner.'

"Eddie knows what he wants to do and how he’s going to do it. He’s going to be ruthless."

England are going a long way to restore the missing bite from their game it seems with the appointment of Jones as coach and Dylan Hartley as captain, whose patience when it comes to questions about his disciplinary record is already wearing thin.

The multiple challenges of leading England, managing the relationships between the RFU and the clubs along with the expectation that comes with having the best resources in the world, are now resting on the shoulders of a coach that achieved the spectacular with Japan.

Compared to the hurdles he faced with the Brave Blossoms, the England role to Jones must seem like a clear sprint.

Campese added: "He’ll have a few challenges but that’s why he has been brought on board, to take England to the next level."

"I’ve been told there’s a few rumblings already from players about having to get up early… poor boys, you know? It’s the professional era. Get used to it.

"Eddie’s very meetings orientated, he’ll have about 600 meetings, and it’s going to be done his way or the highway.

"That’s what England are paying for and that’s what they’re going to get."

Expecting Jones to land a first Grand Slam crown in 13 years when he's had less a month with his players would be rash. Any one of the sides, except for Italy, look capable of winning the 2016 title.

But according to Campese, if Jones knows that all England need to win is a conservative game-plan where they grind down their opponents through their pack and a persitent kicking game, then that's what he'll go with. Just as his 23-man squad for Scotland isn't filled with new caps ready to shine, despite the strong claims of Elliot Daly and Maro Itoje. Jones has gone with players he feels can go up to Murrayfield and win.

Not to thrill or win plaudits for bravery in defeat like last year's 55-35 wild finale against France. To win.

"England should never lose the Six Nations, put it that way," adds Campese.

"They have all the players and all the money. It’s not going to be about keeping people happy, it’s going to be about winning.

"That’s what his job is."

by Ben Coles

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