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Can Eddie Jones’ men replicate Leicester’s Premier League triumph?

mikebrownThe 2015 Rugby World cup was held on home soil, making England one of the favorites to lift the crown. After failing to make it out of the group stages, Stuart Lancaster’s time was up and he was replaced by Eddie Jones – the first time that England has hired an overseas coach.

England’s current full-back, Mike Brown, one of the only success stories of what was a disappointing campaign, believes that the England international rugby team can take inspiration from other sports, and replicate Leicester City’s English Premier League success.

The football side used a team-first emphasis to win it all, and with England currently lacking any star players like the Wilkinsons and Dallaglio’s of the past, this approach could be vital for future success. Jones’ coaching methods have shown some positive signs early on, with his team winning the Six Nations Grand slam. However, they don’t have much time to prepare for the three-test summer tour in Australia where and all eyes will be on the team’s progress and whether they can keep the momentum going down under.

Brown believes that England can use Leicester’s story to motivate themselves when they make the summer trip to Australia.

He explained:

“It just shows that if you have that drive to succeed, the willingness to work hard and that team ethos Leicester have, you can achieve anything.”

Speaking at the launch of Thank You Rugby, Brown told Press Association Sport, “I’m a big believer in looking at other sports and taking what you can from it and that’s the message you can take from Leicester.”

He went on to say, “They may not be big names, until now, but still they’ve achieved what everyone wants to achieve by working hard, by playing as a team. Eddie Jones is demanding with his players, always challenging you, and that’s because he wants us to succeed. I’m sure Claudio Ranieri has that side of him as well.”

The likes of betway believe the Aussies are the favourites to win the three-test tour. However, England, with Leicester’s success story as motivation, and the Six Nations victory behind them, will be looking to make a statement during their road trip. The Aussies may be complacent after their recent success, their home advantage and England’s slump. However, Jones’ men will come in with a point to prove, and they might prove that underdogs, like Leicester, can do the unthinkable, by working hard as a team.

After their World Cup disappointment England were tipped to struggle at Six Nations, however, they beat some impressive teams, and proved that they’re still contenders alongside the best of the best. However, the step up in class will be evident when they take on the Aussies, and their progress will be closely monitored by all.

Lancaster’s team tried to play on an individual basis, and without a team-first approach. However, Jones has worked them hard, and instilled a team-first mentality, with grit, determination and all-over improvement.

At the World Cup they lacked defensive and offensive presence, and proved weak in most areas. Now, through solid effort and teamwork, they seemed more aligned and confident.

Brown concluded:

“We want to be the number one team in the world and that starts now with the Aussies. I’d love to be selected and have a crack at the number two team in the world and hopefully push them all the way. If we keep improving like we have been – and Eddie will keep pushing us hard – then there’s no reason why we can’t.”

Although they have a long, long way to go, maybe, just maybe, this England team can follow in the footsteps of Leicester City and come out with a surprising result.

About Ellaine

Ellaine is the founder of FRN and author of "Mini and Youth Rugby: Complete Guide for Coaches and Parents" (published October 2015). She has been playing rugby union for over 10 years in the UK and the US for teams including Oxford University Blues, London Wasps, Henley, NOVA, and GWU. She has recently developed a love for rugby 7s and has played on several international rugby 7s teams. She also enjoys playing touch rugby and regularly plays for the FRN Mixed Touch Rugby team. She is passionate about helping others develop a love for rugby. View all posts by Ellaine

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