Jones knows what Rassie will bring

2018-06-04 12:09
Eddie Jones (Getty)

Johannesburg - England coach Eddie Jones knows that the Springbok team that his men will face in Johannesburg on Saturday will be different from the one that lost in Washington so he didn’t waste words referencing South Africa’s loss when his team arrived in the country on Sunday. 

Instead of talking about the 22-20 defeat the Boks suffered against Wales in new coach Rassie Erasmus’ first game in charge, Jones focused on the changes and improvements that Erasmus will bring to the Bok game going forward, according to the supersport.com website.

Having coached against the Cheetahs (when he was at the Reds) and the Stormers teams (when he was coaching Saracens) that Erasmus mentored, and having monitored Erasmus’ methods when he was in charge of Munster in the European competitions, Jones feels he has a good idea of what to expect. 

“He will bring back traditional Springbok values, such as strong defence, a powerful physical game, good chasing, and strong set pieces. All the teams he has coached have had those attributes. I don’t expect the Boks to bring anything less than that,” said Jones. 

Erasmus has picked a number of new players in his greater squad and Jones said it was difficult for him to gain too much from the squad list. 

“It is hard for me hard to say but everybody knows there are some good players here, plus Rassie has brought good players back from Europe. The Boks will play with enormous pride and passion in the Bok jersey, that much we do know.” 

The well-travelled former Wallaby and Japan mentor has decided to base England in the mild sub-tropical winter that is the usual fare this time of the year in KwaZulu/Natal for the duration of the tour. His men will fly to the test matches in Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Cape Town a day ahead of each game and then return to Durban afterwards. 

With England basing themselves at the plush Beverley Hills Hotel on the Umhlanga Rocks beachfront, where they will go to sleep at night to the sound of waves washing over the rocks and wake up to panoramic views of the sun rising out of the sea, one of Jones’ biggest challenges may be to keep his men from feeling too relaxed.

But although he did use a surfing metaphor to describe the point that his team has reached in their build-up to next year’s World Cup, and what this tour means to them, he left little doubt about the determination his men would have to win the series. 

“We want to win every test we play but there has to be an eye on the World Cup,” said Jones during the arrival press conference on Sunday. 

“It is like being out on a wave on the ocean out there…you have to get the balance right - get it right and you stay up on your surfboard, get it wrong and you fall off. We want to stay up and surf all the way to the edge of the beach.” 

That, intimated Jones, meant that his men had to overcome big challenges like the ones they face in this away series against the Boks so they could gain confidence and an inherent belief that they can beat anyone on a given day. 

“In world rugby who do you want to beat? The Boks at Ellis Park ranks right up there for sure. It is a spiritual home of rugby. Anyone who knows anything about rugby remembers the 1995 World Cup final and how that changed rugby, the change it meant for this country, the value it had for sport in general. So to play the first Test at Ellis Park (now Emirates Airlines Park) in a three-Test series is something very special.”

Read the full story on SuperSport

Read more on:    england  |  eddie jones  |  rugby


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