Former Hull KR captain sheds more light on Eddie Jones as rugby league coaching rumours continue

Rugby league and rugby union can both learn a lot from each other, something which coaches have realised and now implement to try and gain the minor margins required to win at elite level sport.

That was the reason why rugby league coach and former player Anthony Seibold was recruited by Eddie Jones to serve as defence coach for the English rugby union national team and he’s spoken about how it happened.

Seibold played much of his career in Australia but made the switch to England where he captained Hull KR in 2003 and 2004, then playing in what was the Championship, which gave him an experience of England where he’d find himself coaching union 15 years later.

Speaking to James Graham on his podcast, The Bye Round, Seibold explained how the switch happened and Jones’ love for rugby league.

“I sort of had a relationship with Eddie for about five years, he’s a massive NRL fan and South Sydney in particular. He tells me stories about the days when the match of the day used to be at the sports ground and he’d go with his dad and watch the Dragons play the Bunnies as a kid.

“He came through playing league, he’s been a massive supporter of rugby league so we started doing some shared learning. When I finished at the Broncos he was the first person to offer me a role. He said ‘Look mate I’d love for you to do some consulting for me, some special projects.’

“I was looking at rugby (union) with a rugby league lens, he said ‘imagine you’re coaching rugby league against Ireland and how would you defend their shapes.'”

In coaching against Ireland Seibold was facing off against another rugby league legend, something he referenced when discussing how the games learn from each other.

“There’s so many similarities which is why I think a lot of league coaches, particularly in Europe, (switch codes). Andy Farrell is head coach of Ireland, Shaun Edwards is the defence coach of France, Kevin Sinfield is the defence coach of Leicester who won the premiership last year. Everywhere you go over there, there’s a connection with rugby league.

“It’s a really chaotic game and that’s one of the things that is challenging about the game but the principles are very similar,” Seibold explained.

With such similar principles and Jones’ self-confessed love for rugby league being confirmed by Seibold it might not be long till we see him transition to coach rugby league, maybe even Super League.

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