(Reuters) – Former England captain Will Carling is set to join the national team set-up as a leadership mentor, coach Eddie Jones said.
Carling, who led his country to three Grand Slams in 1991, 1992 and 1995, begins his part-time role next week for England’s November tests, with the first match against South Africa on Saturday.
Jones has hailed Carling as a “specialist in leadership” and backed the 52-year-old to add value to the squad by developing the skills of England’s senior players, headed by co-captains Owen Farrell and Dylan Hartley.
“He joins the great past of England to the present,” Jones told reporters.
“It is a similar thing to what the All Blacks have done with great players, and I think Will can play that role for us.”
Jones believes Carling’s experience will be key to bring an English perspective to the backroom staff.
“Because I’m not English, I can’t preach to the players about having pride in England,” he added.
“Will is a bit of a specialist in leadership. He 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.”
The South Africa test begins a month of internationals at Twickenham for England, with other fixtures against New Zealand, Japan and Australia.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)