“It’s come to me at an early age in coaching – same as playing. I am fortunate to be in this position and I am really looking forward to what’s ahead. I am not fearful of anything”
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Martin Gleeson, England’s new attack coach, says he has “no fear” of becoming just another statistic in Eddie Jones’ ruthless reign.
Glen Ella, Rory Teague, Sam Vesty, Ed Robinson, Scott Wisemantel and Simon Amor have each tried to get a tune out of England’s attack in the five years Jones has been in charge.
Now is the turn of Gleeson, who has has rebuilt his career since a drugs ban a decade ago and comes in with England under pressure after their worst ever Six Nations campaign.
“I have no fear whatsoever,” said the former rugby league star. “You’ve got to back yourself. Growing up, you want to play for your country. I’ve been the same as a coach; you want to coach your country.
“I’m a proud Englishman and I want to coach the best players in the best competitions. It’s come to me at an early age in coaching – same as playing. I am fortunate to be in this position and I am really looking forward to what’s ahead. I am not fearful of anything.”
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The 41-year old played more than 350 top-level league games during a career in which he also served a ban for breaking RL betting rules.
“It was a long a time ago but I made a couple of big mistakes,” Gleeson admitted. “I’ve processed it, I’m comfortable with it but I would say the most important thing is how you learn from them and how you get yourself moving forward.
“Something like that can go one of two ways – it can finish you off or shape you and give you more drive and purpose – which Is the route I took. It drove me through the last decade, from returning to playing, into my coaching career and to where I am now.”
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Gleeson was quick to pay tribute to Shaun Edwards for the help he had given him getting onto the rugby union coaching ladder.
“Shaun was a big influence,” he said. “He is obviously someone who played and had success at Wigan where I’m from. I watched him as a kid growing up.
“When he was the Wales coach I used to go and see him at his house and he’d ask me stuff about league defences.
“Watching games together over a number of years I started seeing stuff that I thought he could do in attack against defences. As time went on I wanted to pursue this and see where I can go with it.”
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