sport news Eddie Jones is spot on... forward star Maro Itoje is NOT a future England ...

sport news Eddie Jones is spot on... forward star Maro Itoje is NOT a future England ...
sport news Eddie Jones is spot on... forward star Maro Itoje is NOT a future England ...

Eddie Jones has revealed he does not see Maro Itoje as a future England captain — but in his latest book, he also admits that Owen Farrell is still a work in progress as a leader.

Halfway between World Cups, Jones has offered remarkably candid views about some of his players, in Leadership: Lessons from my Rugby Life.

When Itoje first emerged as a supreme rookie, he was soon identified as a Test skipper-in-waiting, but that impression is not shared by the man in charge of England, it appears.

England coach Eddie Jones has revealed he does not view Maro Itoje as a future Test captain

England coach Eddie Jones has revealed he does not view Maro Itoje as a future Test captain

Jones (above) was commenting in his latest book 'Leadership: Lessons from my Rugby Life'

Jones (above) was commenting in his latest book 'Leadership: Lessons from my Rugby Life'

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Mega maul

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In an illuminating passage of his book, Jones suggests that Warren Gatland was right to give the Lions captaincy to Alun Wyn Jones rather than Itoje.

He writes: 'That seemed sensible to me. I might be wrong, but I am not sure Maro is a future England captain. He is going to be one of the great players, but Maro is very inward-looking.'

This point appears valid. Itoje is a phenomenal player — a consistent, world-class asset for club and country and a world XV player almost every time he plays. 

But that doesn't make him a natural captain. He is a supreme individual and should be left to concentrate on that focused personal work.

Jones's observations about Itoje fly in the face of the assertion that captains merely have to lead by example. If that was the case, Itoje would be a perfect choice. But leadership is about so much more than that. 

It is about having empathy, being a people person and an astute man-manager; someone who knows when to speak and when to step back, when to comfort, when to cajole, when to let rip.

Many of the best captains are respected characters who those around them can relate to and rally around.

It doesn't hurt if they are popular, which is why Ellis Genge has made such an impact at Leicester and why Courtney Lawes proved such an effective understudy for Farrell during England's autumn campaign.

Lawes is a calm figure who knows when to flick the intensity switch.

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