Rugby: England need to make like Richie McCaw, says coach Eddie Jones

Richie McCaw evolved throughout his career, according to England coach Eddie Jones. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Richie McCaw evolved throughout his career, according to England coach Eddie Jones. Photo / Brett Phibbs

England coach Eddie Jones has urged his team to follow the example of Richie McCaw and evolve into a truly great team.

England have won 14 straight tests under Jones but the coach believes that will be just the beginning if they model the ascent of McCaw.

The legendary flanker won a record 148 caps for the All Blacks and, before he retired, became the only captain to win the Rugby World Cup twice. But Jones pointed out McCaw was nowhere near a fully-formed player when he first broke into the Super Rugby scene.

"Good players evolve with time," Jones told the Mirror. "It is the same with rugby players. If you are a great defensive player and you can add attacking skills, you become potentially a great player like McCaw.

"When McCaw first played for the Crusaders, he was an out-and-out ­defensive player. By the end of his career he could carry, he could pass - he could do ­everything and that is how the great players evolve."

Jones also reckoned those rapid improvements could extend to himself, as he attempted to guide England past the All Blacks' world record 18-test win streak.

"I am not saying I am a great coach, but what I want to make sure of is that our team keeps changing," Jones said. "If you keep evolving what you do, then teams are going at what you used to do, not what you are doing now."

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