Wednesday 18 September 2019

Roy Keane gives England's World Cup build-up a lift after Eddie Jones invite to address squad

Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy fell out before the 2002 World Cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy fell out before the 2002 World Cup. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Tony Considine

While Ireland assistant and manager-in-waiting Andy Farrell is preparing Ireland for their first World Cup warm-up game tomorrow, his former counterpart in the soccer set-up has apparently gone behind enemy lines.

The Sun has reported that Roy Keane was a visitor to Eddie Jones' England camp at Pennyhill Park this week to deliver a pep talk about his career.

The ex-Manchester United captain is no stranger to Japanese World Cup controversy having left the Ireland squad before the team arrived there for the 2002 football tournament after a furious bust-up in Saipan with the then, and current, Ireland boss, Mick McCarthy.

England boss Eddie Jones is known to be a big admirer of the Corkman and asked Keane to address the England squad, including Farrell's son Owen, before the two had lunch with the rest of the England backroom staff.

It's not known exactly what was discussed but it's probably safe to say that a stop-over in the Pacific Islands was advised against.

Keane isn't not the first Manchester United legend that Jones has recruited, with Sir Alex Ferguson also known to have met Jones on occasion to share advice.

Joe Schmidt's team can see what impact Keane's advice may have had for themselves in two weeks time, with a clash against England in Twickenham their next game after the Italy clash tomorrow as preparations for the Japan World Cup intensify.    

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