Eddie Jones has stoked the fires yet again ahead of England’s World Cup semi-final against New Zealand on Saturday.
The Australian native is no stranger to throwing verbal grenades in the lead-up to big games and true to form called out members of the New Zealand media for being ‘fans with keyboards’ who continually give the All Blacks an easy ride.
The England head coach also claimed that someone may have been spying on his team ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash in Yokohama.
“There was definitely someone in the apartment block filming, but it might have been a Japanese fan,” said Jones.
“I don’t care, mate. That’s part of the deal, that’s the fun of the World Cup.
“Everyone knows what everyone does. There are no surprises in world rugby anymore. That’s the great thing about the game, you just have to be good enough on the day.
“I haven’t done it [spied on a team] since 2001, I used to do it. You just don’t need to do it anymore, you can see everything. You can watch everyone’s training on Youtube.
“There’s no value in doing that sort of thing, absolutely zero. We knew it from the start, it doesn’t change anything, we love it.”
Jones also called upon members of the media to ask tough questions of the All Blacks branding their local media as ‘fans with keyboards’.
“Someone has to ask them [the All Blacks] a question because the New Zealand media doesn’t,” said Jones.
“You guys are just fans with keyboards, someone has to ask them some questions.
“The England team… you get so much media exposure, you get media pressure, everything is scrutinised, the players are scrutinised, the coaches are scrutinised
“One week ago, I was going to get sacked, Owen [Farrell] couldn’t kick, someone wrote there’d be blood on the walls of Twickenham. Now we are in a semi-final and have a chance of going through, and we are just excited about it.”
Jones added that all the pressure lies with New Zealand ahead of Saturday’s semi-final meaning that England just have to relax and enjoy the week leading into the game.
“We don’t have any pressure, mate,” said Jones.
“Put up your hand if you think we can win. There you go, so no one thinks we can win. There are 120 million Japanese people out there whose second team are the All Blacks.
“So there’s no pressure on us. We’ve just got to have a great week, enjoy it, relax, train hard and enjoy this great opportunity we’ve got.
“Whereas they’ve got to be thinking about how they’re looking for their third World Cup and so that brings some pressure. We’ve prepared for this game for two-and-a-half years.
“I can remember being in Kyoto [for the World Cup draw] two-and-a-half years ago and quickly you could do the mathematics – even an Australian could do the mathematics – that we were going to play New Zealand in a semi-final.
“Progressively, we’ve built a game that we think we can take New Zealand with and we’ve done that over the last two and a half years. We’re just excited by the possibility.”