Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby

Jonny Wilkinson warns England not to expect a quick-fix

Jonny Wilkinson insists England cannot expect a quick-fix under new head coach Eddie Jones.

Jones will oversee his first match in charge since replacing Stuart Lancaster in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield having had only two weeks to leave his imprint on the team.

England are seeking to climb back to the sport's top tier after failing to progress from the group stage of last autumn's World Cup and Wilkinson insists that alongside France, who also have a new coach in Guy Noves, they will need to show patience.

"It is such a tough balance to strike because both these nations have been used to strong international teams and both quite rightly expect good results," said Wilkinson on behalf of ITV's 6 Nations live coverage.

"High-level rugby teams with lasting quality are built from the bottom up, however, and this cannot be done in a few weeks and a harsh conversation or two.

"The first run out is often not the most challenging because the excitement, energy and desire to prove yourself can combine to make something extraordinary.

"It is the rest of the tournament and beyond where good coaching, man management and preparation will be tested.

"Both of these teams will come out firing, it is a case of 100 per cent or not at all at this level which means committing fully to every decision and ultimately trusting your plan, your team and yourself."

Wilkinson, who oversees occasional kicking sessions with England, insists teams with ambitions of winning the Six Nations must hit the ground running.

"Scotland will be full of confidence after a great World Cup and Wales will carry a lot of momentum from a courageous effort too," Wilkinson said.

"It will be very exciting to see what France, Ireland, Italy and England bring to the tournament.

"We will get a great picture of how these guys plan to carry on after a difficult time and an idea of the future identities of these teams.

"Whoever gels together fastest will prove the most dangerous."

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?


From Belfast Telegraph