Eddie Jones’ public confidence has given England an advantage in clashes with Australia they’ve never enjoyed before according to Rugby World Cup winner Martin Corry.
The ex-England international believes the Australian head coach has got under the skin of Wallabies boss Michael Cheika ahead of the two sides’ meeting at Twickenham this weekend.
Earlier this week Cheika accused Jones of spoiling his legacy in his home country with “vitriolic” comments during England’s 3-0 whitewash tour of Australia this summer.
Cheika also fired barbs at Dan Cole’s supposed “illegal” scrummaging style and Corry believes England’s players will be love the fact they have a head coach who has provoked such a response.
“I think that’s absolutely well within the Aussie character,” the back rower told City A.M. when quizzed about Cheika’s comments.
“And now we’ve got an Aussie ourselves it’s going to make good reading. This is the first time we’ve really had an England head coach who’s speaking his mind.
“Cheika’s reacting to Eddie Jones whereas before it’s always been us reacting to the cheeky little hand grenades which the opposition has been lobbing over. This is something new, it’s refreshing.
“Watching English sport, we’ve always had coaches saying ‘Oh, we’re not the favourites’. And he [Jones] has said ‘No, put pressure on us. This is what we expect, these are our standards’.
“I’m on the outside and I’m buzzing. You’d just love to be a part of that and I think you can see it from the way the players are playing. They are taking risks because they feel empowered to do so.”
After Jones lit a blue-touch paper by saying he would tell referees to keep an eye on Australia’s “technical issues” at the scrum, Cheika hit back by accusing England hooker Dan Cole of scrummaging illegally throughout his career.
Cole was criticised by Australian pundits for appearing to push at an angle in the scrum during England’s tour Down Under but Corry doesn’t expect Saturday’s referee Jaco Peyper to be swayed by the pre-match sparring.
“It’s such a grey art and for the referee to spot the difference between the cause and the consequence is so hard,” said Corry.
“All I know from playing with Dan Cole is he loves the head-to-head pushing battle. And because he’s so good, so powerful and so aggressive and he wants that scrum the opposition starts to do things.
“So if they come in at the angle then Coley has to go at the angle and has to follow them. If you pause the scrum on TV you can say ‘Well, he’s come in at the angle’. But the reason he’s come in at the angle is the opposition has forced him there so you’ve got to play the whole scrum through and work out what happened first.
“It’s easy if you’re an opposition coach to chuck those bombs over but the referees are smart enough now to not fall for that.”
Corry, who was a part of Sir Clive Woodward’s squad that beat Australia at their own World Cup in 2003, now works as a director at cloud computing firm Salesforce.
Despite the legendary coach Woodward being renowned for his early adoption of technology and statistics to gain an advantage for the Red Rose, former Leicester stalwart Corry believes he now has more technology at his disposal than when he was playing.
Corry is planning on combining the knowledge from his current and former disciplines as a judge at next year’s Sports Technology Awards.
“Now I just train pretty much for fun but technology has improved so much that I know more about my training than when I was playing,” says Corry. “I’m a big heart rate monitor man. I do a lot on the wattbike at the moment and every day I can monitor and chart my progress and fitness.
“There’s apps now that do it all for you so you can see how you’re performing day by day. Everyone can be their own sports scientist.
“When I was playing it was the only thing that mattered was what happens on the field. It’s only when you’ve retired and step away from it when you realise everything else that’s a part of putting on a sports event.
“And that’s what’s great about the tech awards. The categories cover everything. They see the value in sport. Sport as an industry, a business, as well as what happens on the field.”
Martin Corry is Head of the Sports Technology Awards’ judging panel. The Sports Technology Awards are a unique, global entity which celebrate innovation in sports worldwide. To find out more about awards, how to enter and attend, visit www.sportstechnologyawards.com