England more robust after stellar season

2016-12-29 13:35
Eddie Jones (Getty)

Cape Town - More robustness and self-reliance with on-field decisions have been the biggest improvements among England's players in 2016, says coach Eddie Jones.

England finished the year unbeaten, winning all 13 Tests they played including a Six Nations Grand Slam and historic 3-0 series victory in Australia.

Jones told Reuters he was impressed with his side's development and believed the players have become much more robust in taking the on-field decisions.

"The players have really changed, they are much more robust, more self-reliant," said Jones.

"They can make decisions on the pitch by themselves, and we are seeing them (do that) in difficult games."

Jones admitted his first game in charge was a tough, hard-fought 15-9 win over Scotland at Murrayfield.

"We got the points and got a lot of confidence from that. I can remember getting out of the bus at the ground and this little Scotland fan was shouting out at the top of his voice 'we're going to stuff you guys, we're going to stuff you guys'," Jones said.

"That was the start of being part of that intense Six Nations rivalry between teams."

England, on an unbeaten run of 14 matches including the win over Uruguay in their last World Cup game, completed the grand slam with a 31-21 victory in Paris and begin their new campaign against France at Twickenham on February 4.

Despite their astonishing revival, Jones deflected praise to the players for turning things around.

"The players deserve 90 per cent of the credit and the other 10 per cent goes to the staff who work very well," he said.

"We're lucky with England that we have got very good support staff, with Steve Borthwick, Paul Gustard and now Neil Hatley's doing a terrific job."

Read more on:    england  |  eddie jones  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Springbok coach Allister Coetzee remains defiant, saying he won't resign despite a shambolic two years at the helm. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.