Eddie Jones

ALBION welcomed a special guest to the training ground on Thursday afternoon, with England Rugby Union Head Coach Eddie Jones on site to learn more about how the club operates.

Jones was given a tour of the facilities, spoke with players and staff and watched the first team train before sitting down for lunch with Tony Pulis.

"It's been a great day, I've really enjoyed it," said Eddie. "I watched the training, watched the guys in the gym, spoke to sports science staff and the coaching staff. It's been a great experience."

The Australian explained that it was Albion's approach to operations, especially in terms of player performance, that drove his decision to pay a visit to the training ground.

"The approach of West Bromwich Albion brought me here. They're not one of the big clubs in terms of finance so they have to be very creative in how they prepare the players.

"We're always looking for new ways to prepare the players better and there's a nice balance here between the sports science department and the coaching department. The club's doing a great job in maximising the resources they have."

Jones' visit came just months after England Manager Gareth Southgate visited the Training Ground to share ideas and talk tactics with Pulis. And, of course, meeting the gaffer was a key incentive for the two-time Six Nations winner.

"The chance to meet Tony was a big factor," Jones continued. "His reputation goes a long way and his ability to get the most out of his team is just fantastic.

"I enjoyed the way he coached. He was out on the field barking instructions and demanding the best from his players. It was good to see a coach in action leading the tactical drive of the team."

Indeed, Pulis' 'hands-on' approach to coaching was something that resonated with Jones as he took to the field to watch the First Team train.

"The head coach should always coach. That's always been my ethos and today's experience has certainly reinforced that. Sometimes you go to football clubs and the head coach doesn't do a lot of coaching. It's really refreshing to see Tony out there coaching and driving the players to be at their best."

But it's not all about the man in charge. Jones was quick to point out the impressive attitude of the Albion players.

"The players' attitude to training was first class. They worked hard and communicated well.

"You can always get a feel of a team when you go on the training field and hear how much noise is being made and how they communicate with each other. It was evident that the boys are a tightly knit group and they want to do well."

And it was clear that Jones had considered the experience a morning well-spent, despite any perceived differences between football and rugby.

"From the coaching point of view it's about making sure our staff coach at a high standard, that we continually talk about the game. That's something I've picked up from Tony today.

"It's always good to exchange ideas. In a lot of ways there are similarities between the two sports. We're both trying to find space, we're both trying to get the best out of the players and we need that to be physical, mental and social."

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