Eddie Jones doesn’t stop surprising at every press conference and this time he used an analogy to explain a little better what is the role of the opening. “The numbers 10 are like sushi chefs, they have the ambition to be good for life”, said the coach when asked about the call for Jacob umaga for the game before Italy in Rome, for the last date of the Six Nations.
“It usually takes about 10 years before you start making sushi. The numbers 10 are the same. Umaga is at the beginning of the apprenticeship and she could graduate very quickly and be able to make sushi at the corner stall and then she might be able to make sushi in a five-star restaurant, ”Jones added and gave an example:“ Daniel Carter was in his prime at 35, a full opening: easy going, he takes a kick when they need it and when there’s a line break, he’s there. That is the difficulty of this position. “
Umaga was called up to the 36-man England squad ahead of Joe Simmonds, the Exeter captain who had a major influence on the European Cup and Premiership double. “I like the way Umaga attacks the line. Read the game well. Good rugby players are starting to get ahead and he’s one of those guys who has a good feeling about the game, ”Jones said.
“You can’t just sit back and wait for things to evolve, you have to be able to do it quickly. To do that, you need a 10 that is very instinctive. You can’t train them to do it, they just do it. You saw when he scored that try (against Exeter). His team played a couple of quick rucks and he goes flat on the line, through the gap, runs through the gaps, beats the fullback and scores. They are the things that you cannot train and they are the things that you always look for in the players. It’s probably more pronounced now because of the way the game is going, ”said the England coach.