Since taking the role in December, Jones has recruited some of the most promising young coaches in Europe in Steve Borthwick and Paul Gustard. Now he wants Wilkinson to join his England revolution after meeting the fly-half in a supermarket.
Jones and Wilkinson were adversaries in 2003 when England famously beat Australia thanks to Wilkinson’s last gasp drop goal. ‘Wilko’ went on to win 91 caps and score over 1,000 points in Test rugby during his stellar career.
He finished his career in the south of France with Toulon winning the European Champions Cup on two occasions. Since his retirement in 2014, the 36-year-old has been working on a part-time basis as a coach with Toulon.
England fans will certainly be excited at the prospect of seeing Wilkinson work with England during the Six Nations.
Jones wants Wilkinson involved in Six Nations
Jones spoke about the meeting with Wilkinson saying: “We would like to get Jonny involved, but he’s quite a private person. We are having chats about it. I saw him down at Waitrose shopping with a beanie over his head. I had coffee with him.”
There is no doubt Wilkinson remains one of the most hardworking and dedicated men in sport, despite his retirement and Jones said “After we had coffee he went and did a kicking session and he doesn’t play anymore. Why was he one of the best in the world? Because he did that. That’s the difference.”
Jones will be hoping the work-ethic and attention to detail that made Wilkinson the world’s best player for many years will rub off the new group of players. In his first Six Nations squad, Jones selected seven uncapped players and he spoke about how Wilkinson and the other coaches could help these players become global stars.
“Our job as coaches is to create that environment where players are encouraged to do that – we can’t tell them to do it. Anywhere in the world the good players tend to rise up and there should be a gap between the really good players and the average players.
“A good player has that little bit extra, and we are talking about two or three per cent extra. He does that little bit of extra analysis, stretches, goes for a swim and takes a bag of balls to kick.”
England face two huge games at Twickenham during the Six Nations 2016. On Saturday 27th February they face defending champions Ireland in a mouth-watering clash. Then on Saturday 12th March they will be looking for revenge against rivals Wales after their World Cup loss.
Image Credit – Simon Williams (Flickr)