Eddie Jones’ commitment to England role is called into question as New Zealand star Beauden Barrett reveals he has been working directly with coach while at Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath
- Eddie Jones oversaw England’s joint-worst finish ever to a Six Nations campaign
- The Australian holds a consulting role at Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath
- New Zealand star Beauden Barrett has revealed he has been working with Jones
England head coach Eddie Jones is working directly with Beauden Barrett at Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath in the wake of England’s joint-worst finish to a Six Nations campaign.
New Zealand superstar Barrett is currently plying his trade in the Japanese Top League with Suntory – a team coached by Jones in 1997 and between 2009 and 2012.
Jones has held a consultancy role with Suntory for more than 20 years, but Barrett’s revelation raises further questions over whether the England head coach should be focusing on his day job.
Eddie Jones has been spending time working on his consultancy role at Suntory Sungoliath
‘Eddie has had a little bit to do with Suntory rugby and he’s been so good for me with my dealings with him,’ said Barrett, who has twice been named World Rugby’s player of the year.
‘When he does have something to tell me, they are like little pieces of gold. His understanding of the game is exceptional. He’s been involved a fair bit, certainly at the start of the season.
‘He’s over here at the moment, actually. He’s more in the background and dealing with the coaches a lot, but when he does offer advice to the players, it’s certainly good advice.
‘I guess it’s good to get that from someone who isn’t there on a daily basis. He’s on the outside looking in and gives good information.’
News Jones is working on a regular basis with one of the best players from England’s biggest rivals will surely concern his bosses at the Rugby Football Union.
New Zealand star Beauden Barrett has revealed he has worked with the England coach directly
The RFU have previously said they are happy for Jones to continue working with Suntory alongside his England role. That’s despite England having been drawn against Japan in the pool stages for the 2023 tournament in France.
The RFU do not deem Jones’ dual roles to be a conflict of interest. Earlier this month Twickenham bosses gave Jones their full backing to lead the team into the 2023 World Cup after a thorough review into their underwhelming fifth-placed Six Nations finish.
But the fact Jones is working directly with players like Barrett while away from England duty will must be an issue for RFU chief executive Bill Sweeney. Barrett believes that Jones, who also has a second consultancy role with American outfit San Diego Legion, can turn England around.
Barrett saw England at their best when his All Blacks side were beaten 19-7 by Jones’ men in the semi-finals of the last World Cup.
‘They’ve got the talent there so I’m sure they’ll work it out,’ Barrett said. ‘They figured it out in the World Cup semi-final against us. He’s copping a bit at the moment, but I’m pretty confident he’ll turn things around there.’
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