My life through a lens: England rugby coach Eddie Jones, 62, shares the stories behind his favourite snaps
Celebrities share the stories behind their favourite photos. This week it’s England rugby coach Eddie Jones, 62.
England rugby coach Eddie Jones shares the stories behind a selection of his favourite snaps
1967: As a kid I was a bit of an outsider, being mixed race, so I worked hard at being liked. My parents had met in Japan in the aftermath of the Second World War. My dad Ted, here with me at Little Bay Beach in Sydney, was an Australian soldier and was part of the occupying forces, and my JapaneseAmerican mother was an interpreter. They raised my two older sisters and me in Australia
1970: I’m ten here, when my mum Nellie finally let me play rugby league. Before that, she felt it was too rough. I was small for my age but once I had possession of the ball I didn’t let go. My passion for rugby started at primary school in La Perouse, a tough working-class suburb in Sydney, and I went on to play as a hooker for Randwick and New South Wales
1987: When I retired from amateur rugby I got a job as a PE teacher at a small inner-city school in Sydney. This is me (left) with two colleagues on a uniform-free day when the teachers dressed as pupils. I loved being a teacher and it was here I met my future wife Hiroko, who was teaching Japanese to fund her travels. I quit the profession to play for Leicester Tigers, but the school called me back as its acting principal. I then quit again to pursue my dream of working as a rugby coach
2003: The anguish on my face here says it all. I’m with the Australia rugby team watching England collect their medals after losing to them in the World Cup final in Sydney. We fought hard to get back in the game in the second half, but in the last minute of extra time Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal settled the match. This experience made me a worse coach for a few years because I became too anxious to win. I kept feeling sorry for myself when we lost big games instead of accepting responsibility
2015: This was a great moment as head coach, celebrating Japan’s win over South Africa in Brighton in the World Cup. They’d previously won only one World Cup game in their entire history. I’d taken charge of a club side in Tokyo before that because we wanted my daughter Chelsea to have a settled couple of years and knew there was a good American school there. There were tough times, too – my dad died while I was in Japan and I suffered a stroke. I’ve learnt to relax more now, though I’m sure the England players will laugh at that
2016: Becoming a Test cricketer was my ultimate childhood dream. I played cricket in Australia to a pretty high standard, although I’m hopeless now. If I wasn’t coaching rugby, I’d love to coach Test cricket. I’m playing here in a fun match against the Rugby Union Writers’ Club in Richmond, south-west London. Rugby and cricket are both tough contests and the tactical and mental aspects are very similar
2017: My wife Hiroko and I hit it off immediately when we met. She’s an independent woman who left Japan to travel aged 23. When I was asked to play for Leicester Tigers, she agreed to come with me and we married eight months later. Our daughter Chelsea was born in 1993. Hiroko is down to earth and keeps my feet on the ground. She comes to all my rugby games, but doesn’t like to get too close to my staff or players. This is us in the royal box at Wimbledon
2018: I’ve never met a guy who loved his rugby as much as Prince Harry. At the 2003 World Cup he wore an England shirt like any other fan. We’re chatting here at a training session at Twickenham when he was patron of English rugby. He loved watching the team train and he and the players had a good relationship. These visits were very special for him because he could get away from everything for a few hours and he didn’t have to be a prince
As told to Angela Wintle. Leadership: Lessons From My Life In Rugby by Eddie Jones is published by Macmillan at £20.
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