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July 31, 2019
Will Carling: Former England captain to join national team in mentor role
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Will Carling: Former England captain to join national team in mentor role


Will Carling has the most caps as captain of any England player, with 59

Former England captain Will Carling is set to join head coach Eddie Jones’ management team as a leadership mentor.

Carling led England in 59 of his 72 caps after being named captain aged just 22, winning three Grand Slams in 1991, 1992 and 1995.

The 52-year-old will begin the part-time role next week for England’s autumn internationals, with the first match against South Africa on Saturday.

“He joins the great past of England to the present,” said Jones.

The Australian said Carling is a “specialist in leadership” and will “add value” in his role of developing the skills of England’s senior players, headed by co-captains Owen Farrell and Dylan Hartley.

“It is similar to what the All Blacks have done with great players and I think Will can play a role for us,” Jones added.

Jones, 58, added he had wanted to bring in an England great “all along” and had spoken to other former players but felt Carling, whose side were beaten finalists in the 1991 World Cup, was the “best equipped”.

“Because I’m not English, I can’t preach to the players about having pride in England,” he said.

“I’ve always thought we have possibly had a gap in that area.

“Will understands what made English rugby great so combining the skill of leadership with the knowledge of English history is a nice resource for us to have.”

Carling’s role could be extended until the 2019 World Cup in Japan if his appointment proves a success.

During the 2015 World Cup, former Harlequins centre Carling said England lacked leadership and the players were treated “like schoolboys” under Jones’ predecessor Stuart Lancaster.

Saracens scrum-half Richard Wigglesworth, who is in England’s squad for the autumn Tests, dismissed Carling’s criticism as “ridiculous”.

The South Africa match begins a month of Saturday internationals at Twickenham for England, with other fixtures against New Zealand, Japan and Australia.



Source BBC News

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