Coaching greats Phil Gould and Eddie Jones compare sporting journeys in the NRL and world rugby

By Andrew Prentice for Daily Mail Australia

06:16 February 17, 2023, updated 06:24 February 17, 2023

  • Phil Gould and Eddie Jones compared sporting travel
  • Both men made the switch from player to coach
  • Gould has won two NRL Premierships and also coached NSW
  • Jones led Australia to the 2003 Rugby World Cup final
  • Recently commissioned to coach Wallabies at the 2023 World Cup

Two of the brightest minds in Australian sport recently sat down to reflect on their impressive personal journeys in NRL and world rugby respectively.

Phil Gould coached the Bulldogs (1988) and Panthers (1991) to NRL Premiership glory and remains one of the most respected figures in the Code as a senior administrator at Canterbury – while Eddie Jones was just a stone’s throw from winning the 2003 World Cup on home soil .

England’s Jonny Wilkinson needed a drop goal in extra time to deny the former NSW hooker a chance to lift the Webb Ellis trophy as head coach.

Jones, 63, has made a remarkable career, clipboard in hand, helping South Africa, Japan and England at international level.

He was recently entrusted with a daunting task which he has accepted with typical enthusiasm – leading the Wallabies to glory at the World Championships in France in September.

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones recently sat down with NRL personality Phil Gould to compare their respective careers

Gould, 65, is also widely regarded as the NSW Blues’ best coach in the State of Origin arena since 1980.

The couple traded stories in a recent interview for Stan Sport – and the mutual respect was evident.

In a gripping on-camera chat, the two shared stories of their transition from player ranks to managerial as well as senior administration.

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Jones shocked Gould after revealing Australia rugby union had left the NRL’s immortal Andrew Johns in 2005 – only for the deal to fall through in the eleventh hour.

Concerns about John’s neck injury and alleged drug use were raised by other ARU officers at the time.

“We had Andrew … he wanted to come over,” Jones told Gould. ‘He would have made a hell of a difference.

Gould was shocked to hear Eddie Jones say rugby league immortal Andrew Johns was a done deal with his move to the ARU in 2005 – the move never materialized
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Roosters, NSW and Australian star Angus Crichton is another player on Jones’ rumored hit list

‘(Billy Slater) would have been handy, and [current Rabbitohs star] Cameron Murray would be a great center.’

Jones was the driving force when he poached NRL’s Mat Rogers, Lote Tuqiri and Wendell Sailor between 2001 and 2005 in his first tenure in charge of the Wallabies.

He has also not hidden his admiration for the likes of Joseph Sua’ali’i and Sydney Roosters teammate Angus Crichton.

Both were schoolboy rugby stars in Sydney in the GPS student competition before signing NRL deals as teenagers.

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