Eddie Jones pays tribute to Shane Warne following his sudden death at 52 in Thailand

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Eddie Jones pays tribute to the late Shane Warne with hilarious anecdote about how Australia spin legend once cut rampant former Wallabies rugby star Wendell Sailor down to size in the nets, then ‘told him where to go’!


Eddie Jones paid a personal tribute to the late Shane Warne and then warned Ireland his England side have no fear of facing them in Saturday’s crunch Six Nations clash.

England head coach Jones – a proud Australian and big cricket fan – described the death of legendary spin bowler Warne as ‘terrible’ after he passed away from a suspected heart attack.

Warne’s sudden death in Thailand last week at the age of just 52 shocked not only his country Australia and all cricket fans, but also the wider sporting world.

Jones, who coached Australia’s rugby side between 2001 and 2005, said: ‘It’s a terrible time. Shane was an icon, wasn’t he? He changed the game of cricket.

‘I was lucky enough to meet him on a couple of occasions. I remember we had a net session with the Wallabies against the Australians right when they were rising to the top.

‘We had a guy called Wendell Sailor and he was a larger-than-life character. He was batting against Stuart MacGill, who was the other leg spinner, and Wendell is coming in and smashing MacGill out of the nets. Warney grabbed the ball, winked to the blokes behind the net and said, “Watch this”.

Eddie Jones paid a personal tribute to the late Shane Warne (pictured)

Jones (pictured) labelled Warne as an 'icon' while saying he 'changed the game of cricket'

England head coach Eddie Jones (right) paid a personal tribute to the late Shane Warne (left)

Jones revealed how Warne once got the better of former Wallabies rugby star Wendell Sailor

Jones revealed how Warne once got the better of former Wallabies rugby star Wendell Sailor

‘He gave him two balls, floated it up, and let Wendell smash it.

‘The third one he bowled a bit shorter, faster, and he was bowled. Then he told Wendell where to go. I thought it was a great little insight into such a wonderful sportsman.’

Jones made a surprise media appearance from England’s Pennyhill Park base on Monday ahead of a must-win game with Ireland.

He revealed he still hopes No 8 Alex Dombrandt will have a chance of being involved in the Twickenham clash after the Harlequins forward tested positive for Covid-19 last Friday.

Legendary leg-spinner Warne (left) died suddenly in Thailand last week at the age of just 52

Legendary leg-spinner Warne (left) died suddenly in Thailand last week at the age of just 52

Shane Warne's premature death at the age of 52 has shocked the whole cricketing world

Shane Warne’s premature death at the age of 52 has shocked the whole cricketing world

‘He’ll have a chance, we’ve got to wait and see how he recovers from Covid,’ Jones said of Dombrandt. ‘He has to do all the cardiac tests and we’ll see on Thursday if he can train at the necessary level. If that’s the case, he’s got a chance to play against Ireland.’

Should Dombrandt not be fit to face Ireland, he will likely be replaced by Sam Simmonds.

England must beat Ireland and France on the final weekend to have any hope of what would be an unlikely Six Nations title following a mediocre Championship to date.

‘Ireland are the favourites for the game. They’ve been in good form in the autumn and are a very settled team who are well-coached by Andy Farrell,’ said Jones.

Jones warned Ireland his England side have no fear of facing them in their Six Nations clash

Jones warned Ireland his England side have no fear of facing them in their Six Nations clash

‘We’ve got a young squad, but a very good squad and I’m pleased with the development of the squad. We’re moving in the right direction, but like any team it’s not a straight line.

‘We’ve got ups and downs, but certainly the spirit of the team is good, the development of the game we want to play is good, and we’re looking forward to the game on Saturday.

‘We’re looking forward to the challenge. We’re not intimidated by any team.’

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