When Eddie Jones watches Euro 2020, he wants pointers, not points.
Eddie Jones will be watching the European Championship in the hopes of gaining insight into how he can improve his own performance as England coach.
Jones has formed a strong bond with Gareth Southgate and has participated in frequent virtual meetings with the Three Lions manager, David Moyes, Arsene Wenger, and NBA and NFL coaches to discuss the problems of working in sport during the Covid era.
England’s Euro 2020 campaign kicks off on Sunday against Croatia, and with his own summer series not starting until June 27, Jones will be on the lookout for hints that can be applied to rugby in the coming weeks.
“I’m somewhat familiar with Gareth. We’ve had a few conversations recently, and I’ll be keeping an eye on his and the team’s interests,” he said.
“They clearly have a talented bunch of players, as proven by the fact that two English teams have been to the European Cup final and one team has advanced to the Europa League final.
“At the moment, they have a lot of fantastic skill, and it’s about how that skill can come together and play as one squad in which players must play several roles.
“It’s no different than what we have to do in terms of players sometimes having to play a somewhat different role than what they do at their club because it’s better for the team. That is something I will be keeping an eye on.
“Obviously, other clubs have some good players, so we’ll see how the coaches make the most of those players.
“I’ve had a few conversations with Belgium’s coach (Roberto Martinez), and he’s got some talent.
“It will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure of being one of the favorites with players like Kevin De Bruyne.”
Jones has named his first team since the Six Nations, ahead of Tests against the USA and Canada at Twickenham next month, which will be preceded by a ‘A’ international against Scotland A.
Senior players aren’t among the 12 British and Irish Lions players who will travel to South Africa. (This is a brief piece.)