Jones warns against copying All Blacks

Sun, 09 Oct 2016 14:41

NEWS: England coach Eddie Jones has insisted trying to play New Zealand at their own game is the wrong way to topple the All Blacks from the summit.

Reigning world champions New Zealand won a record-equalling 17th Test when they thrashed South Africa 57-15 in Durban on Saturday to finish off a perfect Rugby Championship campaign.

If they beat Australia at Auckland's Eden Park - where they haven't lost since 1994 - on October 22, the rampant All Blacks will set a new outright world record of 18 straight wins by a top-tier nation.

England, however, have won all nine of their Tests since Australian boss Jones was appointed following their first-round exit when staging the 2015 World Cup - a sequence that includes a Six Nations Grand Slam and a 3-0 series win in the former Wallaby boss' native Australia.

"The thing that really annoys me about rugby at the moment, and I've got to say it, is that everyone tries to copy New Zealand," Jones, never shy of trying to ruffle an opposition team told Britain's Sunday Times.

"Why? Come up with your own game. Everything we are doing now is about coming up with a game to beat New Zealand and to make them uncomfortable. You can and hopefully will see that by 2018.

"One of the great opportunities we have here in England is that we can rebrand rugby, we can develop a new style that gives people an opportunity to play the game differently from New Zealand. That is exciting me more than anything.

England's lone world title came in 2003 when they beat an Australia side coached by Jones in the Final.

Asked if England could win the next World Cup in Japan in 2019, a bullish Jones replied: "Definitely. We've got some changes we need to make but I think the timing is right."

Jones, criticised by coaches at several English Premiership clubs for a recent gruelling training camp in Brighton that ruled the likes of Bath wing Anthony Watson (fractured jaw) and Wasps flank Sam Jones (broken leg) out of the upcoming end of year Tests at Twickenham, was happy with the quality of players at his disposal.

He was particularly impressed by Bath and England No.10 George Ford.

"I've never seen a more talented flyhalf. He can see space, some of the things he did in training were quite remarkable," Jones added.

It was put to Jones that he appeared to be suggesting that Ford had more ability than Australia great Mark Ella, flyhalf in the Wallabies' celebrated 1984 Grand Slam-winning tour of Britain and Ireland.

"Well he's not better than Mark Ella but he's building nicely. If Ella played today, he'd set the game on fire," Jones replied.

Agence France-Presse