Richard Cockerill: “To be able to coach this group of players with the quality that England have and try to bring that edge, physicality and mindset is a real challenge for me.” England holding a three-day training camp ahead of autumn internationals
By PA Media
Last Updated: 26/09/21 2:26pm
Richard Cockerill plans to stamp his combative personality on to England’s pack after being recruited by Eddie Jones to establish an edge up front.
Cockerill was appointed forwards coach three weeks ago and will work with Jones’ 45-man training squad for the first time when they gather at The Lensbury for a three-day camp on Sunday.
The snarling former Leicester hooker was a belligerent force for England throughout the 27 caps won between 1997 and 1999 and famously stared down New Zealand’s Norm Hewitt as the Haka was being performed.
As a coach at Tigers and Edinburgh, the 50-year-old fielded well-drilled and rugged forward packs forged in his own image to earn the approval of Jones as he targets the 2023 World Cup.
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“Eddie wants a fresh pair of eyes, different eyes,” said Cockerill. “He wants me to bring my personality and my drive.”
“I’ve always been able to get combative forward packs and drive mentality and I think that’s probably appealed to him.
“To be able to coach this group of players with the quality that England have and to try to bring that edge, physicality and mindset is a real challenge for me.”
Jones: Marler wants to be part of World Cup campaign
Joe Marler has been told he remains part of Eddie Jones’ plans for the 2023 Rugby World Cup after he escaped the cull of senior England internationals.
Ruthless Jones has axed Billy and Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and George Ford – each a stalwart of his reign as head coach – for a three-day pre-autumn training camp that begins on Sunday, describing it as a “line in the sand”.
While the door has been left open for all four, they have been told that only a return to form will place them in contention for France 2023 as Jones looks to lower the age of his team.
But Marler has escaped the purge despite being 31 years old and withdrawing from the Six Nations in January for family reasons – his destructive role in Harlequins’ Gallagher Premiership title triumph evidence of a player operating at the peak of his powers.
“Everything’s going to be about getting ourselves right for the World Cup. If we kept the same team, the same team would be too old by the next World Cup. We know that so we’ve needed to refresh the team,” Jones said.
“I had a chat to Joe, we went for coffee down at Horsham, had a bit of a chat and he wants to be part of it.
“His form at the end of the season was outstanding. His effort in the Premiership final and the semi-final was superb.
“He’s in good form and he wants to give it a crack. We will see how we go with it.
“But he’s going to have to compete hard because there are some good players here. Ellis Genge, Bevan Rodd and Beno Obano all did brilliantly in the summer.”