Eddie Jones a 'massive inspiration' to Gareth Southgate's squad on visit to Three Lions training

Rory Dollard
AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Bertrand lauded England's rugby union coach Eddie Jones as a "massive inspiration" after the Australian's masterclass with Gareth Southgate's Three Lions.

Jones won his first 18 matches in charge of his adopted country, equalling the All Blacks' world record streak, and claiming back-to-back Six Nations titles after a four-year drought.

The 57-year-old has been hailed for bringing a new winning culture to the national side and Southgate has been quick to develop a line of communication as he attempts a similar overhaul of the nation's footballing prospects.

He travelled to Pennyhill Park last month to witness preparations for the key Six Nations match against Wales and hosted a reciprocal visit this week to England's Hertfordshire hotel, where Jones addressed Southgate's 23-man squad on Friday.

"He was a massive inspiration," said Southampton full-back Bertrand on the eve of the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

"They were on the edge of a fantastic, record-breaking run and we really dug deep to find out what was achieved and what measures he put in to bring sustainable success, not temporary success.

"It was a real eye-opener and the squad came out of the meeting a lot closer and with ideas a lot clearer about how to achieve that."

Asked which of Jones' qualities had shone through strongest in his presentation, Bertrand explained: "For me personally, he was sure. He's a very confident man.

"He's very into his work and as long as you work hard you'll get success."

Southgate was keen to let Bertrand take charge of debriefing Jones' visit but did add: "It's great for us to get ideas from other sports, winning mentalities and environments."

That he should take a back seat and allow one of his charges to field questions is very much in keeping with Southgate's coaching tenets.

Since taking over, initially on a temporary basis following Sam Allardyce's messy departure, he has made a point of empowering players, asking them to make decisions for themselves on and off the pitch and sharing the media duties around.

In days gone by the England manager would be accompanied before a match by the captain or a player with of significant seniority, but Southgate has involved a rotating cast in a bid to encourage shared responsibility.

"It's been a breath of fresh air to be part of an England team where he gives us the mantle," said Bertrand.

"We leave no stone unturned, tactically, but he also allows us to express ourselves and encourages us to do that.

"There's more responsibility within the group. Every time we have meetings, it's very mutual. Thoughts are shared between the team and the coaching staff. We're encouraged to dissect things and come to conclusions ourselves, reflect as a whole rather than being solely led by the manager."

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