England head coach reveals he’s taking unlikely inspiration for England’s World Cup quest from the US Navy SEALs after meeting them in California… as he hopes to teach his side a lesson in adversity from the Special Forces sent to kill Osama Bin Laden
Eddie Jones cited the mission by US Special Forces to kill Osama bin Laden as unlikely inspiration for his quest to make England better at adapting to adversity.
After naming a training squad for a three-day camp in London next week, the coach revealed on Monday that he recently travelled to California to spend a couple of days with the Navy Seals.
Talking To Dailynews, Jones said: ‘I was lucky enough to spend a couple of days out in San Diego about three weeks ago with the Navy Seals — understanding how we can prepare the players better to cope with the unexpected.
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‘You know the Osama thing — they practised that project for 12 months, for 38 minutes of work. And the first thing they did was wrong. The helicopter hit the wires. They had 12 months to prepare, went through it religiously and they still get something wrong, but then they were able to cope with it and get it done within 38 minutes.
‘Look at us now, 12 months to the World Cup. We’re preparing for a game that’s got 35 minutes’ ball-in-play time. So the ability to dress-rehearse, prepare the players for what’s coming up — whether it’s the first round, second round — is exciting, isn’t it?’
Asked what over-riding lesson he took from the San Diego excursion, Jones added: ‘That we train better — we prepare better. We do a form of mini hell week where we have our misogi (a Japanese purification ritual — last year, the squad did team raft races).
‘I’m about to fly out to Jersey and we’re going to look at the misogi options because that’s a ritual for the team now. They have to find themselves a bit, find their team-mate.’
Eddie Jones’ focus is on England’s ability to think on their feet and adapt to match situations — especially due to the restriction on water carriers meaning it is now harder for coaches to deliver messages on to the field. He spoke repeatedly about how rugby is ‘volatile’ at the moment and that teams have to problem-solve more than ever.