Eddie Jones has been working with New Zealand star Beauden Barrett as part of the England head coach’s consultancy role with Japanese side Suntory Sungoliath.
Jones has an association with the Tokyo-based team spanning over two decades and continues to offer guidance to their coaches and players, including two-time world player of the year Barrett.
But former England boss Sir Clive Woodward sees the relationship as a unneeded distraction after Jones oversaw England’s joint-worst finish ever to a Six Nations campaign.
“I am one of the very few people who is qualified to state, categorically, that if you are going to coach England in the professional era, you can afford absolutely zero distractions — and I mean zero.” wrote Woodward.
“Everything has to take second place. At times that even includes your family, who have to make big sacrifices to give you the time and space to do the job properly. It is all-consuming.
“Eddie has been a distracted figure for a good while. I noticed it in the week before the World Cup final in Japan when there was simply too much stuff going on in the build-up.
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“It was more like the Oscars as opposed to a team and coach preparing for the biggest game of their lives. Nothing has changed since.
“Last week’s whitewash of a review contributed nothing to sharpening up England and getting to the crux of the matter. If anything, it supported a coaching regime which really has lost its way. England need to start identifying what has been going wrong and fix it.”
Sir Clive Woodward ranks the five greatest England players of all-time
5. Jason Robinson
Woodward said: “He was a sponge and soaked up every single rugby union skill. By the end he was probably the best kicker out of hand we had, he laid the ball back at rucks perfectly and his tackle technique was perfect. What a player.”