VIDEO: Jones wants England to learn from All Blacks

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 07:33

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: England coach Eddie Jones insisted his focus was firmly fixed on the 2019 World Cup in Japan as he urged his side to learn from reigning champions New Zealand.

Jones's men face Argentina and Australia - who they've already beaten several times each under the former hooker's guidance - and Samoa at Twickenham next month.

But his second-placed side are not due to play the All Blacks, currently top of the world rankings, until next year at the earliest.

Australian coach Jones has lost just one game in charge of England - a defeat by Ireland in Dublin in March that cost the Red Rose brigade back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams - since taking over following the hosts' exit at the 2015 World Cup.

But Jones, the Wallabies' coach when they lost the 2003 World Cup Final to England in Sydney, made it clear after announcing his November squad on Thursday that forthcoming results would merely be a means to the end of lifting the Webb Ellis trophy in Japan.

"We want to win Test matches - we want to win 3-0 - but the most significant thing we need to do is build towards the World Cup," Jones told reporters.

After winning the inaugural 1987 World Cup in front of their own fans, New Zealand dominated the global game in between successive editions only to fail to grasp the game's biggest prize again until edging past France in the 2011 final in Auckland and then retaining their title in style two years ago.
"One of the things I've learnt from watching the All Blacks learn about the World Cups is that they used to look at it as they were the number one team in the world and they turn up at the World Cup as the number one team and they win it," Jones explained.

"What they've learnt over the last eight years particularly is the process of building towards a World Cup campaign," added Jones, who was particularly impressed by how New Zealand had upped their game in just a few months since a dramatic drawn Test series with the British and Irish Lions earlier this year. 

"What they've done post the Lions has been so clever in terms of being able to expand their depth, experimented with the way they've played the game, they've deliberately put themselves under pressure in games to equip themselves better for the World Cup.

"They can play the game slow too because they’ve got the best line-out in the world and the second-best or best scrum in the world.

"That's something we can certainly learn from and we're not trying to copy them," added Jones, who guided Japan to a shock win over South Africa at the 2015 tournament.

"It's time now to start developing the depth and adaptability of the team.

"We need to make the team more uncomfortable, not have everything nice and rosy, have a bit of chaos in the house," he explained.

But Jones, who has repeatedly made it clear he will step down when his contract expires after the 2019 World Cup, suddenly reverted to a short-term outlook when asked if he would have a role in selecting his England successor.

"The only thing I'm worried about is coaching Argentina, not worried about anything past that...You've got to remember that I get employed by the union so they make the decisions, not me," he said.

"I'll do whatever I'm told to do. If they [England's Rugby Football Union] tell me to walk across London Bridge I'll do that. I'm a very obedient Australian," Jones added with a huge grin.

"Results are everything. We've got to keep winning, because if we don't keep winning, I won't be in the job, so I won't have to worry about post-2019, all I'll have to worry about is what plane I'm going to get on."

Agence France-Presse