Eddie Jones messaged Australia's Samu Kerevi 'all year' to make him a better player

·3-min read
Eddie Jones messaged Australia's Samu Kerevi 'all year' to make him a better player - REUTERS
Eddie Jones messaged Australia's Samu Kerevi 'all year' to make him a better player - REUTERS

Samu Kerevi, the Australia centre who will face England next week, has revealed that he talks with England head coach Eddie Jones "throughout the year" receiving advice from Jones about his game.

The pair have worked together during Jones' consultancy stints with Suntory Sungoliath in Japan and have maintained a good relationship, Kerevi revealed ahead of lining up against England's midfield during the three-Test tour.

Kerevi previously joked over a Zoom call back in April that he was trying to get England's secrets out of Jones, "asking him a few questions on how they play and how his centres’ movements are, so hopefully I can help if I get selected back into the Wallabies".

Kerevi also added at the time: “He’s improved my physical side, and my work ethic off the ball. He spoke about last year, trying to get more touches in my hands, and has spoken about Manu [Tuilagi] a lot and how he’s progressed his game.”

Kerevi on Thursday addressed the reaction that followed his earlier comments, after Jones came under fire.

“I went to him the next day and apologised,” Kerevi said. “He just laughed. He said ‘don’t worry about it’. I think it’s a storm in a teacup. It’s not like he’s giving away any England secrets. I said that in another interview and it blew up. He’s a really top man.

“He’s one of the top coaches in world rugby but he’s also a top bloke. I talked to him throughout the year and he sends me messages. When you sit down with him, he’s got some great learnings for me as a football player. That’s what I love about him ... he gives me pointers of where I can get better.

“When he’s at Suntory, he wants the team and the organisation to get better. It’s nothing to do with the Wallabies or England. He’s just there to help those Japanese players and the foreigners.”

Jones' consultancy work with Suntory has been ongoing for 20 years but he has received criticism in the past for helping players England later face in Test matches, with Beauden Barrett, the New Zealand fly-half, revealing last year that Jones had passed on "little pieces of gold" when the two worked together at Suntory.

An RFU spokesperson said back in April after Jones returned to work with Suntory following England's disappointing Six Nations: “Eddie has had a relationship with Suntory for more than two decades, he uses his holidays to keep improving his coaching and global rugby knowledge. While on holiday Eddie has also been holding virtual staff meetings and providing detailed feedback on strategy and opposition.”

Kerevi was one of Australia's stand-out performers at the 2019 Rugby World Cup before moving to Japan, and has now returned to the side under 'Giteau's Law', with head coach Dave Rennie allowed to pick three overseas-based players and opting for Kerevi, Quade Cooper and Marika Koroibete.

England arrived in Perth on Wednesday as their preparations continue ahead of the first Test next weekend.

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