Rugby

Jones tells England to make history against Boks

2016-11-10 22:04
Eddie Jones and Billy Vunipola (Getty Images)

Bagshot - Eddie Jones has challenged his England side to set the record straight when they face South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

England have won all nine of their Tests since the Australian became their coach following the hosts' miserable first-round exit from last year's World Cup.

South Africa, by contrast have lost four of their last five including a record 57-15 defeat by world champions New Zealand in Durban last month.

Yet it is 10 years since England beat the Springboks, a run spanning 12 Tests.

"South Africa are coming off the back of what for them has been a disappointing season but we know they will come to Twickenham all geared up and ready to go," said Jones at England's Bagshot training base, southwest of London, on Thursday after announcing his side.

"We want to change the history of results between England and South Africa.

"We want to be the number one team in the world, so this game against South Africa on Saturday is another step forward."

Jones, who worked alongside current South Africa head coach Allister Coetzee when they were both members of Jake White's backroom staff that helped the Springboks win the 2007 World Cup, said England knew what to expect.

"South African rugby traditionally has been about momentum. It's about big ball-carriers carrying the ball over the gain-line.

"Given the side they've picked, nothing has changed. They've probably gone back to the past to go to the future.

"You think they were going to come to Twickenham with a small forward pack?

"It's easy to do selection in the Springboks," insisted Jones, who guided Japan to a shock upset win over the Heyneke Meyer-coached South Africa at last year's World Cup in England.

"Jake White came to a coaching conference in Japan and said 'I don't even pick a prop unless he's 6ft tall because unless he's 6ft tall he can't lift the locks high enough in the line-out'.

"A little Japanese coach said 'what do you do if you haven't got a lock who is 6ft tall?'

"Jake just said to him, 'pray mate'.

"That's what they (South Africa) do, they just pick the biggest blokes."

However, Jones added: "I think it's funny when people say this is a big physical challenge.

"I said to the (England) players today, 'If you're not physical in rugby, you should be playing volleyball or curling.'

"South Africa is no different from any other team... But the tactical part is different -- there are ways to get to South Africa and I think we will be smart enough to get to them on Saturday."

South Africa's recent results have intensified the pressure on Coetzee but Jones said: "He is a great rugby guy.

"Some of my funniest memories in rugby have been with him, so I want him to do well, but I don't want him to do well on Saturday."

With Coetzee facing racial quota selection questions in post-apartheid South Africa, there are many who believe he has the hardest coaching job in world rugby.

Former Australia coach Jones was not so sure.

"Every job has its challenges," he said.

"You coach Scotland, you've got a small player pool, you coach Ireland you've got a small player pool.

"If you coach England you've got a massive player pool but an intense media, that we love and have a great relationship with!

"Allister has got a unique set of socio-political issues. That is part of the country and he knows he has got to coach to those issues.

"He's a coloured guy that's come through, he's played Currie Cup in the coloured competition.

"He's fought his way up to be a coach for the Springboks, as an assistant and now as a head coach.

"He knows what's ahead of him and he's doing a fantastic job."

Read more on:    england  |  springboks  |  eddie jones  |  r kelly
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