Will Carling is expected to join England’s management team this autumn as a mentor to senior players as Eddie Jones seeks to build a bridge to the nation’s “great past”, according to the Press Association.
Carling starts the part-time role next week and has been given the brief of developing the skills of the leadership group spearheaded by co-captains Dylan Hartley and Owen Farrell.
It is a shock move by Jones, who believes the experience accumulated during 59 appearances as England skipper in a reign that produced three Grand Slams and a World Cup runners-up medal will be of benefit.
“Because I’m not English, I can’t preach to the players about having pride in England,” Jones said. “I’ve always thought we have possibly had a gap in that area. He joins England’s great past to the present. It is similar to what the All Blacks have done with great players and I think Will can play a role for us. I have seen it work well for Australia and Japan, too; they all have someone from the past who keeps that connection in place. I think that’s important and that is what he will bring.
“I have met Will continuously over the last two years and I think he can add value to the senior players in the squad with his experience. I want the past to be linked to the present and also then to give the players some additional help with leadership. Sometimes people don’t know what is good for them.”