In a column for the English newspaper Daily Mail, Former England back Mike Brown (35 years and 72 internationals) had been rough with current manager Eddie Jones after the loss to Scotland on the first date of the Six Nations of 2021. In the crosshairs: their game plan is considered too restrictive: “England must finally use their most dangerous weapons. Let her attack. I can’t stand this game under constant pressure anymore, and I’m sure the people in front of their screens at home can’t stand it either. England must finally evolve its game plan and offer more ammunition to its more creative rear, towards the extremes “
Last weekend, the English won this time, clearly, against Italy (41-18). Mike Brown attacked: “England have been a bit more adventurous against Italy and that’s a good thing. But this should no longer be a one-time observation. The challenge for England from now on will be to maintain this offensive mood for the next game against Wales. I really hope the players have the courage to challenge Eddie Jones: Now we will play like this! “.
“For a time, the players accepted Eddie’s game plan. In this type of situation, it is always easier to execute orders and keep your head down. Everyone has heard these scary stories about Eddie Jones and no one wants to get on the wrong side of the line in their eyes. Eddie has a taut, sharp tongue and he’s not afraid to use it. However, the players will have to dare to challenge him. “
To illustrate this point, Brown recounts his personal experience under the Australian England coach. “I challenged Eddie once. And it exploded. Before the preparatory training for the 2019 World Cup in Japan, he toured all the clubs to have an individual interview with each player. During our meeting he said: “Mike, you are a defensive back and I have to find out if we are going to take a defensive back in the World Cup. “However, this season was one of the best with the Harlequins, with excellent offensive stats.
But Eddie had me classified as a defensive back. At the end of this meeting, he asked me if I had anything to say. I challenged his analysis, saying that I thought I added value to my game on offense.. I relied on my season statistics to prove it. He hated being challenged and he went crazy. He was screaming, “You lost another damn bullet to contact on Saturday!” You are not good enough, you are not doing enough. “
Also, always according to Mike Brown, two other players have ventured to challenge Eddie Jones’s authority: Danny Care and Alex Goode. “Since then, none of them have played for England again. Still, it should be a healthy move, so players have the confidence to speak their minds. This should be encouraged, whenever warranted. I would love for Jonny May and Anthony Watson to put together some stats, some videos and go see Eddie and say, “Look what we did against Italy… well, it worked. Therefore, we will continue like this. “