Jones reveals Guardiola influence

Date published: January 18 2016

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England coach, Eddie Jones, has revealed that he picked up ideas from former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

Jones' unique and innovative approach to coaching rugby should not be lost on anyone who watched Japan at last year's Rugby World Cup.

The Australian organised his former side in such a manner that the more fancied likes of South Africa, Samoa and the USA were left without answers as the Brave Blossoms stormed to three incredible victories.

Among many impressive aspects of Japan's play were their highly technical set-piece moves, an unerring ability to create space with ball in hand, a ferocious defensive line-speed and a distinctive low tackling technique.

With the above in mind, it should come as no surprise that Jones looks far and wide to find left-field ideas and concepts that might give the teams he coaches the edge over their opposition.

Last November the 55-year-old met with Guardiola to see if the Spaniard held any beliefs that could be applied to rugby.

"Pep is a big rugby fan. He studied rugby and European handball to look at how you move the ball into space," Jones told reporters.

"We talked about his philosophy and about how you move the football into space, because in rugby, once you get away from the set-piece, it's like football."

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