England rope in former captain Will Carling as mentor

Will Carling has played 73 Tests
Will Carling has played 73 Tests

Former captain Will Carling has been roped in by the Rugby Football Union as a mentor for England ahead of their autumn international campaign.

Carling who has captained England 59 times in the 72 Tests he has played between 1988 and 1997 will work on the leadership skills of the side which has Dylan Hartley and Owen Farrell has co-captains.

The 52-year-old also made a solitary appearance for the British and Irish Lions during their 1993 tour of New Zealand. He also captained England to three Grand Slams in 1991, 1992 and 1995 and also led the team to the final of the 1991 World Cup which they lost to New Zealand 12-6.

England head coach Eddie Jones believes Carling's experience will benefit the club as he aims to develop the leadership traits in the side. If the move proves successful, Carling's role may be extended until the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

"I have met Will continuously over the last two years and I think he can add value to the senior players in the squad, with his experience.

"He joins the great past of England to the present. It is a similar thing to what the All Blacks have done with great players and I think Will can play that role for us.

"Will is a bit of a specialist in leadership. He understands what made English rugby great, so combining the skill of leadership with the knowledge of English history is a nice resource for us to have.

"I've thought about doing this all along, particularly because I'm not English. I can't preach to the players about having pride in England, I don't attempt to. I have always said that.

"I've thought that we have possibly had a gap in that area."

England will face South Africa, New Zealand, Japan and Australia on 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th November respectively at Twickenham Stadium.

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