Mako Vunipola Emotional Eddie Jones shows softer side as he leads England into Tonga Battle in World Cup opener

Mako Vunipola Emotional Eddie Jones shows softer side as he leads England into Tonga Battle in World Cup opener

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Eddie Jones revealed a different side of his character after naming his team for England’s World Cup opener here on Sunday.

The head coach known for being brash and bullish briefly appeared emotional — perhaps even vulnerable.

That is the impact of what he described as a rollercoaster ride. Rugby’s grand event has begun and the participants are gripped by tension, anticipation and trepidation, as they get ready to plunge into the tournament maelstrom.

Not even Eddie Jones is immune from the excitement and emotion of a World Cup 

No amount of preparation can guarantee a positive outcome or even that players and coaches will cope with the magnitude of what they are involved in.

Jones was asked what it means to him to take charge of England at this showpiece in the Far East and he faltered slightly as he answered. His eyes welled up.

‘It’s humbling,’ he said. ‘It’s a great honour to coach England… and… I just want to make sure I do my best.’

These were sentiments he had expressed countless times before, but not with such evident feeling. For all of his top-level experience, Jones is not immune to the emotional toll of his high-stakes role, and in a way he doesn’t want to be immune. He seems to relish it.

‘World Cups are always emotional,’ he said. ‘You get to do something that is pretty special —to coach a nation and to be responsible for a nation when you know it’s not just rugby fans watching.

Billy Vunipola and the England side are preparing to take on Tonga in the opener

‘It becomes an event for the country. To be involved in that is a real honour. I’m massively nervous and I’m

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