Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

Pep Guardiola a 'big fan' of rugby and keen to learn from England World Cup coach Eddie Jones

Manchester City manager extends invite to England coach and his staff, and says he will watch Saturday's Rugby World Cup final against South Africa on TV

Pep Guardiola says he is a big fan of rugby and will watch the World Cup final between England and South Africa on TV. AFP
Pep Guardiola says he is a big fan of rugby and will watch the World Cup final between England and South Africa on TV. AFP

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has extended an invitation to England coach Eddie Jones to visit him after the World Cup, saying he is a "big fan" of rugby.

Guardiola said he planned to watch Saturday's Rugby World Cup final between England and South Africa in Japan on Saturday, though the Catalan admitted he struggles to understand the rules of the game.

His thoughts will then turn to City's Premier League game at home to Southampton later in the day, but Guardiola said he is keen to exchanges ideas with Jones.

Guardiola was in charge of Bayern Munich when Jones flew to Germany to watch him up close up in training.

The Australian readily admits that the City manager has had a huge influence on him and his coaching methods during England's run to the World Cup final.

"We spoke once or twice and Eddie was so kind. It was a pleasure to see him and meet him," Guardiola said.

"We talked about some movements in rugby. I'm a big fan and I watch on TV but I don't understand too much about the sport.

"We can learn a lot from them. We didn't spend too much time together but hopefully they can win the final and we can invite him and his staff to come here and talk more.

"It would be nice for all of us, and especially for me. So we wish them good luck."

Guardiola's biggest fascination with rugby was player recovery, describing how players can withstand 80 minutes of physical intensity as "incredible".

"I will ask him how they can regenerate the players like they do after the games. How can they survive?", Guardiola added.

Jones revealed that what most impressed him about Guardiola is the ability to get even more out of his star players and to never be afraid of working his squad hard on the training ground in pursuit of excellence.

It is something that Guardiola had instilled in him from his days as a youngster at La Masia in Barcelona.

"I learned from where I came from at the academy in Barcelona. They taught me to win and win and win again. If not, it is not good enough," he said.

"When you feel this pressure that it is never enough and that you can always do better, you learn from that as a player."

Guardiola's side face Southampton again only four days after beating Ralph Hasenhuttl's men 3-1 in the League Cup.

Updated: November 2, 2019 10:29 AM

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