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Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward? 
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Post Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
He has brought England on an (almost) unbeaten run ever since taking over the team, and has really harnessed their abilities and strength-in-depth, as has been especially evident in this rookie tour of Argentina. All the same, I do maintain that England have most of the time decidedly underachieved relative to their player numbers (40% of ALL rugby players in the world come from England), wealth and resources, except precisely during the period when Woodward brought them to World Cup glory. Basically, is Jones the best coach for England since Woodward? And why have England, relatively speaking, often been so mediocre?


Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:30 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
It's faulty to just go "you have more rugby players ergo you should perform better". The primary factors in a team doing well at the top are good coaching set up and a good system from youth to senior to identify talent. England were lacking both so we had a lot of players but not a very good system. That changed a few years back and so we are starting to feel the effects.

However England have only "underachieved" in the sense of not being able to get trophies, largely because in the 6N England is the "must win" game for everyone else except Italy, most teams will attempt to do more to beat England on average than for any other team. In terms of simple winning %, England have actually been consistently the best in the NH. Wales under Gatland and Ireland under Schmidt have never in any year won more games in total than England.

Jones more than anything else has introduced proper mental fortitude with England, we had a habit of imploding when under pressure to perform. Now England tend to finish strong, I think in 10 of the last 11 games we have scored a try in the final 15 minutes and I think only in 1 game under Jones have we been outscored in the final 15 (vs Wales in 2016). I think the calibre of players and the coaching in general is much better now than ever before, it feels less like a golden generation and more like a permanent improvement. Only time will tell though.

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Fri Jun 23, 2017 1:32 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
So does the fact that England have overall only managed a 52% winning ratio against Wales (population 3 million) and circa 20% against New Zealand (population 4 million) signify that, relative to their much smaller populations and (especially in Wales' case) player numbers, the other two have hitherto been better-coached and better at identifying talent from the grassroots upwards than have England?


Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:46 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
najbritcol wrote:
So does the fact that England have overall only managed a 52% winning ratio against Wales (population 3 million) and circa 20% against New Zealand (population 4 million) signify that, relative to their much smaller populations and (especially in Wales' case) player numbers, the other two have hitherto been better-coached and better at identifying talent from the grassroots upwards than have England?


Considering a fair few Welsh coaches have then gone on to have success with the ABs, yes. However I'd never use the ABs as a valid comparison, rugby is everything there whilst it isn't in England. They may have fewer players to choose from but those they do have to choose from will have lived and breathed rugby all their lives, similarly was the case in Wales for a long time but not so much the case in England. 100 players who have been properly training in rugby since childhood with good coaching and guidance will always outperform 1000, 10,000, 100,000 players who didn't do that. Larger population is only useful for picking up genetic freaks and finding those who are good. If the standard played to is lower across the board though you could keep increasing that number as much as you want and it would make no difference.

So yes, England have under-achieved but if you look at most large nations (relatively) in various sports, statistically they will nearly always appear to be under achievers whilst smaller nations will nearly always appear as over-achievers. Take Wales for example, do you think that if you increased the Welsh population 10 fold that would have translated to beating England 10 times as often? English rugby for years was stifled by ultra-conservatism due to the historical background as a public school privileged sport, old boys networks mattered more than meritocracy and only in recent years has it stopped pretending the whole thing is a jolly good show and actually moved towards more professionalism and dynamism both in how we play and our systems.

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Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:59 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
Troron wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
So does the fact that England have overall only managed a 52% winning ratio against Wales (population 3 million) and circa 20% against New Zealand (population 4 million) signify that, relative to their much smaller populations and (especially in Wales' case) player numbers, the other two have hitherto been better-coached and better at identifying talent from the grassroots upwards than have England?


Considering a fair few Welsh coaches have then gone on to have success with the ABs, yes. However I'd never use the ABs as a valid comparison, rugby is everything there whilst it isn't in England. They may have fewer players to choose from but those they do have to choose from will have lived and breathed rugby all their lives, similarly was the case in Wales for a long time but not so much the case in England. 100 players who have been properly training in rugby since childhood with good coaching and guidance will always outperform 1000, 10,000, 100,000 players who didn't do that. Larger population is only useful for picking up genetic freaks and finding those who are good. If the standard played to is lower across the board though you could keep increasing that number as much as you want and it would make no difference.

So yes, England have under-achieved but if you look at most large nations (relatively) in various sports, statistically they will nearly always appear to be under achievers whilst smaller nations will nearly always appear as over-achievers. Take Wales for example, do you think that if you increased the Welsh population 10 fold that would have translated to beating England 10 times as often? English rugby for years was stifled by ultra-conservatism due to the historical background as a public school privileged sport, old boys networks mattered more than meritocracy and only in recent years has it stopped pretending the whole thing is a jolly good show and actually moved towards more professionalism and dynamism both in how we play and our systems.


So would you say that, while England have become more dynamic and open, Wales may have actually become more conservative and stodgy in terms of their selections and playing structures (at all levels) over the years? What was interesting watching the England u20 vs Wales u20 match in the JWC, was that Wales pulled closer towards England by a strong set-piece (especially scrum) and forward play, whereas England put more emphasis on open, running rugby - exactly the reverse of the old stereotypes.


Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:07 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
najbritcol wrote:
Troron wrote:
najbritcol wrote:
So does the fact that England have overall only managed a 52% winning ratio against Wales (population 3 million) and circa 20% against New Zealand (population 4 million) signify that, relative to their much smaller populations and (especially in Wales' case) player numbers, the other two have hitherto been better-coached and better at identifying talent from the grassroots upwards than have England?


Considering a fair few Welsh coaches have then gone on to have success with the ABs, yes. However I'd never use the ABs as a valid comparison, rugby is everything there whilst it isn't in England. They may have fewer players to choose from but those they do have to choose from will have lived and breathed rugby all their lives, similarly was the case in Wales for a long time but not so much the case in England. 100 players who have been properly training in rugby since childhood with good coaching and guidance will always outperform 1000, 10,000, 100,000 players who didn't do that. Larger population is only useful for picking up genetic freaks and finding those who are good. If the standard played to is lower across the board though you could keep increasing that number as much as you want and it would make no difference.

So yes, England have under-achieved but if you look at most large nations (relatively) in various sports, statistically they will nearly always appear to be under achievers whilst smaller nations will nearly always appear as over-achievers. Take Wales for example, do you think that if you increased the Welsh population 10 fold that would have translated to beating England 10 times as often? English rugby for years was stifled by ultra-conservatism due to the historical background as a public school privileged sport, old boys networks mattered more than meritocracy and only in recent years has it stopped pretending the whole thing is a jolly good show and actually moved towards more professionalism and dynamism both in how we play and our systems.


So would you say that, while England have become more dynamic and open, Wales may have actually become more conservative and stodgy in terms of their selections and playing structures (at all levels) over the years? What was interesting watching the England u20 vs Wales u20 match in the JWC, was that Wales pulled closer towards England by a strong set-piece (especially scrum) and forward play, whereas England put more emphasis on open, running rugby - exactly the reverse of the old stereotypes.


Broadly speaking yes I think you could say that. Wales of the 70's was synonymous with flair whilst everyone talked about England playing boring 10 man rugby, even during the 02-03 years. Whilst I wouldn't say England is now associated with flair, I think it will be extremely difficult to claim we play stuff it up the jumper 10 man rugby any more. I also think it's the case that Wales haven't so much as resorted to 10 man rugby but big man rugby, extending the 10 man ethos to all positions and playing 10 man style rugby with 15 men.

I don't think Jones is the new Woodward, I think all it is is that England finally have a coach who is prepared to be ruthless and take risks, a coach who actually knows what they are doing for a change.

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Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:04 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
I would also argue that the plus side of England really underachieving compared to the All Blacks is that NH rugby, at both club and country level, is ironically in some ways a lot more competitive and dynamic than is SH rugby, in the sense that England and its clubs do not constantly monopolise NH rugby to anything like the extent that New Zealand and its Super Rugby teams do in SH rugby.


Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:54 am
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
Eddie Jones is a totally different animal to CW.... Eddie is a hands-on coach, CW is a facilitator a manager. So in my view, it is like comparing chalk with cheese. Jones is a tracksuit coach CW more at home wth a power point presentation.

Troron address the issues brilliantly "They may have fewer players to choose from but those they do have to choose from will have lived and breathed rugby all their lives, 100 players who have been properly training in rugby since childhood with good coaching and guidance will always outperform 1000 "

As you have pointed out well yourself (although i hate giving you praise :) ) "Wales may have actually become more conservative and stodgy in terms of their selections and playing structures (at all levels) over the years?"".

So Warren Gatland played to a simple yet effective system that pretty much all of Welsh rugby adopted, "earn the right to go wide" power play. This was adopted by the under 16 development teams i watched playing for the Ospreys. Very little decision making. Now as rugby evolves, forwards are making multiple decisions off 9 and 10 and 12 be they a decoy or a weapon and the way in which players are expected to cover the field, sides play far wider. It is very much the clash of styles in NZ at the moment. Ironically NZ were so tactically aware that they played a "right to go wide" style of play in the first Test running hard off 9 between the 10 and the breakdown.

The point is(as i said in another thread) NZ can play both ways, the guy who has studied through school and university to be a doctor can work in Tescos stacking shelves if he wants, but the shelf stacker can't be a doctor.

As Troron pointed out the most important thing is not the number of players but what you do with the players. There was a great deal of improvement in English rugby over the last 8 or 9 years , this can be clearly seen by their under 20 results, those under 20 results were in themselves the result of the previous decade. Eddie Jones came into a great structure, replacing Lancaster who had been a big part of putting those structures in place and i would guess in tandem with the Premiership Academies. Eddie is very much the racing driver the people who developed the car needed.

In Wales Gatland Ball was easy to coach the players who could play it, literally stood out, so we took the easy route and we developed a diesel family estate.

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Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:53 am
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
Both are arseholes


Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:20 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
SimplyRed wrote:
Both are arseholes
Very successful "arseholes"

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Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:28 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
Thegrimriper wrote:
SimplyRed wrote:
Both are arseholes
Very successful "arseholes"


Indeed. Anyway, as a side note to Troron, Gatland's Wales won more matches in 2008, 2009 and 2015 than did England, and so did Schmidt's Ireland in 2014 and 2015. Nevertheless, his basic point that England have been the most consistent NH team this century - even with the improvements of Ireland and hitherto Wales - is still valid.


Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:25 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
Interesting discussion.

I've tried but I can't find a lot to disagree with in these posts.

Not sure whether we really all focus on the England match though.

It's more emotional but, not necessarily more important if that makes sense.


Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:43 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
welshy34 wrote:
Interesting discussion.

I've tried but I can't find a lot to disagree with in these posts.

Not sure whether we really all focus on the England match though.

It's more emotional but, not necessarily more important if that makes sense.


I don't know, I think given the choice between beating England in the world cup pool but then going out in the quarter finals or losing to England in the final, most would choose the former.

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Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:37 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
We should go for the Roman game as the big one.


Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:20 pm
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Post Re: Is Eddie Jones the new Clive Woodward?
both are pricks.


Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:07 pm
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