England coach Eddie Jones has said that his side ‘can’t be bullied’ in the upcoming autumn internationals, and that his team haven’t achieved anything yet, as England have yet to displace the world champion All Blacks from the number one spot in World Rugby’s rankings.
England currently sit second in the new world rankings and will look to gain ground on top ranked New Zealand when England welcome the Springboks to Twickenham in November.
The Boks have not lost to the Red Rose since 2006 and Jones rubbished suggestions that Allister Coetzee’s side would bully England when the two sides meet later this year.
“They can’t be bullies against us because it implies there’s someone there to be bullied, and we can’t be bullied,” Jones told The Times of London (via IOL) on Wednesday.
“They’ll be physically relentless, they’ll be at us, that’s always been the way they play against England. But we’ll be mentally right.”
Meanwhile, Jones has also said that England’s coaching staff must be better, and that while the summer’s 3-0 whitewash of Australia was good from a results perspective, it wasn’t necessarily a good performance by England.
“We haven’t done anything yet, we’re not No 1 in the world, so we still have a lot to aspire to. We’ve been working really hard with our coaching staff on how we can coach better because we didn’t coach well enough on tour. Although we’re happy with the result, we’re not happy with our performance,” Jones said.
“If we want the team to play better, then we’ve got to coach better. Our coaches, to a large extent, have been a product of the domestic game here and they need to be products of the international game, which is significantly different to the domestic game.
“We’re taking this very seriously because, by 2019 (World Cup in Japan), we’ve got to be the best coaching team in the world.”
Jones added that he believes the British and Irish Lions, under Warren Gatland, have a “great chance” of beating the All Blacks next year but that he has long admired the New Zealand way of developing coaches by sending them to the northern hemisphere for further experience after having taken charge of Super Rugby teams, à la Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen.
“New Zealand control the world,” he said. “They control every bit of rugby; every law that’s changed, New Zealand drive it. They control rugby in so many different countries. They are a smart country.”
England will kick off their autumn internationals when they welcome South Africa to Twickenham on November 12, before the Red Rose host Fiji at Twickenham on November 19 before rounding out the end-of-year internationals by welcoming both Argentina and Australia to Twickers on November 26 and December 3 respectively.
Jack O’Toole, Pundit Arena