Eddie Jones recalls net session with Wallabies and Wendell Sailor




Former Wallabies and now England rugby coach Eddie Jones has paid tribute to Shane Warne, with a funny anecdote about a net session where the cricket legend brought confident Wendell Sailor down to earth with a thud.

Jones coached Australia’s rugby side between 2001 and 2005, and was asked to reflect on Warne during his media conference ahead of his team’s Six Nations clash with Ireland on Monday AEDT.

“It’s a terrible time. Shane was an icon, wasn’t he? He changed the game of cricket,” Jones told reporters.

“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’.

‘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.”

Shane Warne of Australia looks on with Wendell Sailor, Morgan Turinui and George Smith of the Wallabies squad during training at the Sydney Cricket Ground on October 12, 2005 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Shane Warne of Australia looks on with Wendell Sailor, Morgan Turinui and George Smith of the Wallabies squad during training at the Sydney Cricket Ground on October 12, 2005 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Meanwhile a tearful former Australia captain Ricky Ponting says he should have told Warne he loved him while he had the chance.

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“I’ve had the television on this morning watching a lot of the tributes to him, but any time I hear his voice, I have to turn it off,” said Ponting on an ICC podcast.

Asked if there was something he could say to him, Ponting replied: “As I’ve said to a lot of the guys I’ve been talking to over the last couple of days, just how much I love him.”

“I didn’t say that, but I wish I did.”

“It’s up to us now that are here, who have that great passion about the game and can talk about the up, it’s up to us to carry on Shane’s legacy that he left,” Ponting added.

“I’ve known him for a long time and understood him pretty well, It’s up to me now whenever I get an opportunity to let the world know what he was all about and what he was like.

“Hopefully pass on to people his knowledge and some of the things I learned from him as well.”





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