Chris Robshaw applauds Eddie Jones influence as ‘ballsy’ England target Rome win
The Australian’s “bullish” approach has changed attitudes in the Red Rose camp.
Chris Robshaw insists England have been transformed from “nearly guys” into ruthless winners under the influence of Eddie Jones.
Robshaw was at the helm for the four successive runner-up finishes in the NatWest 6 Nations that scarred the reign of Stuart Lancaster until his departure after the team’s 2015 World Cup failure.
Jones seized the coaching reins and England have flourished since, winning 22 of 23 Tests in a sequence that has placed them on course to secure an unprecedented third successive championship crown.
Their title defence opens against Italy in Rome on Sunday and Robshaw believes the Australian’s nous has draw the best from his players.
“The big difference now to the same point before the 2015 World Cup is that we have gone unbeaten in series and picked up silverware,” Robshaw said.
“Before unfortunately we never quite managed to get there. We finished the four Six Nations second and we were always the nearly guys.
“I didn’t think we managed to win an autumn series or a summer tour with a clean sweep.”
Robshaw added: “We played some great games but we weren’t quite ruthless enough. Eddie’s bullish approach has give us that ruthless streak. He’s instilled that into us.
“With Eddie it’s more the mental side. He gives you that confidence to go out there and play well. He doesn’t over-complicate things.
“A lot of coaches will tell you to go away and work on 10 things, and if you do all 10 they will find something else and you still won’t be in the team.
“Eddie will tell players to work on two or three things and says, ‘If you can do that, you will be in my side’.
“He’s very to the point. He is bullish with his approach, and that has made this side ballsy.
“He is the best man-manager I have ever met. Every morning at breakfast he will come in and speak to every single person on every table, go round and it gives you that personal touch.
“He knows how to get the best out of you. For some people if may be texting them, other people it may be giving them a bit of a shouting, other people it is giving them that confidence and that love.
“Other people it is having a bit of banter. Whatever it may be, he knows how to read people extremely well.”
England enter the tournament as favourites and Jones has urged a crop of his stars to use the Six Nations to announce their arrival as truly world-class players.
The 58-year-old laid down the challenge when he took over and he believes the time has come for players such as Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell to seal their place in the game.
“Developing world-class players is ongoing. There are a number of our players moving in the right direction,” Jones said.
“Maro, Mako Vunipola, Owen Farrell and Anthony Watson are all guys racing towards that, and this is a great opportunity to put their foot forward.
“I think Dan Cole by the end of the Six Nations will be the premier tight-head in Europe.
“His body’s changed and his scrum position is improving all the time – and he’s at a great age at 31, 32 – to be the best tight-head in the world.”