Jones gets outside help

Date published: November 1 2016

England head coach Eddie Jones has brought in Melbourne Storm assistant coach Jason Ryles on a short-term basis in an attempt to end their poor run against South Africa.

Ryles, 37, represented St George’s Illawarra Dragons, Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm in Australian rugby league’s NRL, racking up 249 appearances in a career spanning 13 years.

Now with England’s training squad in Portugal ahead of the November Tests, Jones believes that with the help of Ryles a "brutal" defence will be crucial to England beating the Springboks for the first time in 10 years.

"We want to bring that harder edge towards our defence so Jason’s in for a couple of weeks to assist Paul Gustard, I think he’ll make a hell of a difference," said Jones.

"There are similarities in the way the Storm run their defence and the way we run ours, so he can add to our defence.

"To beat the Springboks we need our defence to be absolutely brutal, and that’s something we’ll be practising this week."

Melbourne Storm have been one of the most successful Australian rugby league sides in recent years, making six of the last 11 NRL grand finals, with their defence widely renowned as extremely tough to break down.

England made 215 tackles in the 23-7 second Test victory in Melbourne, over three times as many as their opponents and Jones wants that defensive performance to be one of the hallmarks of his side.

Jones thinks Ryles's influence can have a positive impact on their preparations.

"We want defence to be the one of the trademarks of our team, and we want it to be like that (second Test) every game, not just on occasions," he said.

"There are certain technical things we can learn from rugby league and Jason brings them to the party."