The old rivalry between Eddie Jones and Clive Woodward is still alive and kicking after Jones labelled Woodward’s comparison of Joe Cokanasiga to the late great Jonah Lomu as ‘ridiculous’.
Woodward’s wild comparison came during Cokanasiga’s man-of-the-match performance in England’s demolition of Italy in their penultimate game of the Six Nations.
The Bath flyer was tremendous down the wing and caused the Italy back-line problems throughout. England managed an impressive eight tries throughout the match but perhaps the biggest surprise of the match was that Cokanasiga didn’t get any of them.
Ultimately though, England’s comfortable 57-14 victory has given Jones’ side an outside chance of winning the Six Nations; they face Scotland in their final match of what has been a thrilling tournament.
Despite his obvious talent and imposing stature, Jones selected Cokanasiga for his fourth Test appearance only as a result of an injury suffered to the favoured Jack Nowell.
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This, though, didn’t stop Woodward prematurely making the link between him and New Zealand legend Lomu. Lomu laid the foundations for the modern-day powerhouse winger, particularly in the 1995 World Cup and narrowly missed out on a World Cup title himself.
On hearing the Cokanasiga-Lomu comparison one of his predecessors made, Jones said: “That’s ridiculous. That tells you why when you have the television on you should have the commentary down.
“The guy [Cokanasiga] has just started. Lomu almost won a World Cup for New Zealand, changed the way the game’s played. So, let’s get serious about it.”
Finally, Jones issued a warning to his player about his unconventional way of traveling with the ball with only one hand.
“As long as he does it well, we don’t see any sort of issue with it,” said the current England boss.
“When it gets knocked out of his hand then he might have to change it. At the moment he can do it, so great."