England boss Jones would 'jump' at NRL call

By Sports Desk July 27, 2022

England boss Eddie Jones says he would love to swap codes and take up an NRL head coach position, but admits the likelihood of a move to rugby league is small.

The Australian spent time following his side's tour victory over the Wallabies visiting leading sports clubs across the country, including NRL premiers Penrith and AFL duo Melbourne and Carlton.

Jones has his focus on taking England one step further than their silver-medal finish at the Japan 2019 World Cup next year when he leads them to France 2023.

But beyond that, his future is unclear, and the veteran admits he would be delighted to get the chance to chance his arm in league's biggest domestic competition, particularly with boyhood club South Sydney Rabbitohs.

"I like the game," Jones told Nine. "If there was an opportunity there [in the NRL] I would jump at it, but the reality is it’s probably not going to be there."

Jones' admiration for the rival code comes at a time when a proliferation of great union successes have been guided by former league stalwarts.

Ex-Wigan forward Andy Farrell guided Ireland to a first-ever series win in New Zealand against the All Blacks earlier this month, while ex-Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield was instrumental in Leicester's Premiership triumph too.

Shaun Edwards has helped revolutionise France's defence under Fabien Galthie, and Jones' own assistant, the former Souths head coach Anthony Seibold, has been an ace in their revival this summer against the Wallabies.

It is the Rabbitohs the 62-year-old grew up as a fan of, and asked if he would be tempted by the top job at Redfern, he admitted: "That would be the dream team. That would be the dream.

"From the age of five, I’ve supported Souths. That would be fantastic [to coach the Rabbitohs]. I loved the old teams with Ronnie Coote, Bob McCarthy, John Sattler and Eric Simms. 100 per cent [I'd take the job]."

Souths are currently led by former assistant Jason Demetriou, who succeeded veteran coach Wayne Bennett at the end of last year, and currently lie sixth on the NRL ladder as they push for the playoffs.

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    England recorded a 29-12 victory to do the double over Canada at the StoneX Stadium.

    The visitors had to play over an hour with 14 players after Gabrielle Senft was sent off for a high tackle on Hannah Botterman in the 17th minute.

    They trailed 10-0 at that point as Marlie Packer and Ellie Kildunne had scored tries in the opening 13 minutes for England.

    Canada made a fight of it despite their numerical disadvantage but further tries from Maud Muir, Amber Reed and Jess Breach secured victory for the Red Roses.

    Captain Packer, who touched down during the 50-24 win at Sandy Park last weekend against the same opposition, got the scoring started when she forced the ball over from a dominant driving maul.

    Kildunne doubled the hosts’ score after 13 minutes following some good pressing, with a second conversion from Meg Jones unsuccessful.

    After Senft’s dismissal, Canada reduced the deficit through a 26th-minute Sara Svoboda try.

    But England crossed the whitewash again through Muir on the stroke of half-time, with Jones this time adding the extras to make it 17-5 at the break.

    The Red Roses extended their lead further 10 minutes into the second half as Bristol’s Reed found a gap in the Canada defence and pounced over. Jones was again on target with the conversion.

    Breach crossed over following a great run from Jones to put England’s victory beyond doubt – moments after replacement scrum-half Lucy Packer limped off.

    Canada reduced the deficit through a converted Taylor Perry try late on but the Red Roses comfortably held on.

  • Cian Healy could still get called into Ireland squad after injury issue eases Cian Healy could still get called into Ireland squad after injury issue eases

    Ireland will continue to monitor the fitness of absent prop Cian Healy following encouraging progress in his recovery from the injury which caused him to be left out of Andy Farrell’s Rugby World Cup squad.

    Healy was certain to be included in Farrell’s 33-man selection for France before suffering a calf problem against Samoa on August 26 in his country’s final warm-up match.

    The vastly-experienced Leinster loosehead, who will turn 36 next Saturday – the day Ireland complete their Pool B fixtures against Scotland in Paris, posted a positive update on social media, saying his rehabilitation was “ahead of schedule”.


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    Ireland team manager Mick Kearney believes Healy “would be a great addition” for later in the tournament, although he could only be called up if another player departed injured.

    “The medics and S and C (strength and conditioning) would be in regular contact with Cian and I’m sure other players back home to see how their fitness levels are,” said Kearney.

    “It’s great to see Cian back training and training well.

    “Possibly later in the tournament, if we get an injury, Cian would be a great addition, if he was fully fit.

    “I would say it’s good to see him back training but it will require an injury to another player for Cian to be able to come in.”

    Initial prognosis on Healy’s injury suggested he would be sidelined for between five and 10 weeks.

    The lower end of that estimate was reached on Saturday, two days after an Instagram video showed the 125-cap front-row forward working hard in the gym and running on the training pitch.

    Healy, whose place in the squad was taken by Munster’s Jeremy Loughman, captioned the footage with: “It wasn’t easy getting here, but happy the body still knows how to recover ahead of schedule.


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    “Looking forward to getting back to it and will be forever grateful to those who got me to this point.”

    Ireland are on the cusp of the quarter-finals following wins over Romania, Tonga and defending champions South Africa.

    Head coach Farrell has so far been fortunate with injuries and had a full complement of players training on Saturday ahead of next weekend’s pivotal Stade de France showdown with the Scots.

    Nevertheless, contingency plans are in place.

    “There was a lot of conversations with the provinces during pre-season as to how we would keep the players fit that are not in the World Cup squad,” said Kearney.

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  • Effort and hard work is Wales’ ‘bread and butter’ at World Cup – Mike Forshaw Effort and hard work is Wales’ ‘bread and butter’ at World Cup – Mike Forshaw

    Mike Forshaw has described effort and hard work as Wales’ “bread and butter” as they build towards the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals.

    Wales were the first team to secure last-eight status, which they achieved following a record 40-6 victory over Pool C rivals Australia.

    Japan or Argentina now await them in the knockout phase, although their one remaining group game against Georgia in Nantes next Saturday will see them guaranteed to progress as group winners if they triumph.

    While Wales have scored 11 tries in the tournament so far, their defence – Forshaw’s specialist area – has been a dominant factor.

    They have made 506 tackles in three matches, while four players – Jac Morgan, Gareth Thomas, Will Rowlands and Taulupe Faletau – are all among the competition’s top 20, individually.

    “We’ve had a lot of tackling practice haven’t we?” Wales assistant coach Forshaw said.

    “You have got to give the boys a bit of credit. I think at the weekend (against Australia), the first 20 minutes was up to around 75 tackles, compared with Australia’s 20-odd.

    “Sometimes we are going to have to defend, we are going to be under the pump.

    “I understand that in this competition because there are good teams, but I would like to see us playing a bit more, having a bit more even-stevens of a game where we get a bit more time to express ourselves with the ball.

    “But when we have not got the ball, it is about that switch of transition and how good we can be. I always say the defence is the start of our attack.

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    “We were accurate, but I don’t want to get too carried away. We have got to repeat that.”

    Wales’ players have returned to the training pitch following four days off and all attention is now on Georgia, a team that toppled them in Cardiff last November.

    Whether head coach Warren Gatland makes changes remains to be seen, but it cannot be ruled out as Wales prepare for the World Cup’s business-end.

    Forshaw added: “The last couple of days, I’ve watched their (Georgia’s) games and I think they can be dangerous.

    “I think they throw the ball around well. They’ve got a very dangerous full-back. They have some heavy forwards around set-pieces. They get into your five-metre channel.

    “It is how we manage that game. We won’t be taking them lightly, that is for sure.

    “We’ve got a selection meeting on Sunday evening. I’ve got a couple of ideas, I’m sure that Warren has got a couple of ideas and some of the other staff.

    “If I’m totally honest with you, I’m not sure on that question on what we will do with the team, but one thing is for sure, we will be a strong team.”

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