Eddie Jones has told his England squad to become participants not recipients
Firstly, the Australian shocked his squad by leaving them to it and letting them run a team meeting themselves. Then he turned his attention to winding up the Pumas.
And in General Election week he challenged his youngsters to aim for rugby’s highest office.
Jones has long berated the lack of leaders in English rugby – he claims the academy generation are spoon-fed and can’t think for themselves.
And with 18 untried players on tour he is desperate to see who can be turned into a driver of the team, and has even promoted uncapped Alex Lozowski of Saracens to the leadership group.
So yesterday he divided the teams into forwards and backs for units meeting in their hotel in Buenos Aires which the players thought would be run by the coaching staff.
But Jones walked in and out of both rooms, his assistants did not get involved, and the players were left to get on with it.
“We have got quite a unique demographic here so there are opportunities here for people to jump from being a backbencher to being Prime Minister,” he said.
“We very much want to have two levels of management, one is the staff, one is the players – there might be some different players but this is still England, and we want the players to be responsible, self-driven and self-reliant.
British & Irish Lions squad for 2017 New Zealand tour Mon, May 22, 2017
Express Sport runs through the confirmed Lions squad for the 2017 tour to New Zealand
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Express Sport runs through the 37-man Lions squad ahead of the New Zealand tour
“We set up as if the coaches were going to run it and then got the players to run it. They are the sort of things we are doing to constantly develop the leadership of the players and to develop more responsibility about being active.
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“Be a participant, don’t be a recipient. Professional sport to a large extent is educating players to be a recipient and it’s our great belief that to be a World Cup-winning team you need to be a participant.”
Fly-half George Ford added: “One big thing Eddie is driving for is us taking control of everything we do. Ultimately it is us on the field at the weekend.”
England play the first Test of the series in San Juan on Saturday and Jones’s next trick was to claim that all the pressure was on Argentina despite the Pumas being seven places lower than England in the world rankings.
George Ford has said how Eddie Jones is expecting the team to take control
Jones said Argentina are struggling and he wasn’t sure whether they would play their traditional macho game or chuck the ball around.
He added: “They didn’t have a great 2016 and they know they are playing an under-strength England side so all the pressure is on Argentina.
“When you are under pressure you can do one of two things. You can become even more adventurous or you can revert back to type.
“Everyone eats steaks here, everyone wants to bullfight and everyone wants to scrum so it is a matter of where they go. Our preparation has got to be so that we are prepared for either of those. They might start to run the ball from anywhere so we don’t know.”