Rugby World Cup 2019: No one else in Japan thinks England can beat All Blacks - Jones

By Sports Desk October 24, 2019

Eddie Jones does not think anyone outside the England camp believes they can beat New Zealand in a blockbuster Rugby World Cup semi-final on Saturday.

New Zealand go into the clash in Yokohama two victories away from lifting the Webb Ellis Cup for the third time in succession, but Jones is happy to be the underdog.

The Australian said this week "the pressure will be chasing [the All Blacks] down the street", while his team could play without the burden of expectation.

Although Jones admitted to a degree of anxiety about the clash, he hopes to help his team thrive against the favourites for success in Japan.

"There's always nerves - you're only human - but there's that mixture between being nervous and excited which is the reason you coach," Jones told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"To be involved in a game like this is the most fantastic experience as a coach, and it's what you live for.

"Out of one hundred journalists in the room, as we saw, 97 think New Zealand are going to win.

"The three who put up their hands put them up timidly and hoped no one saw them put up their hands.

"Our 31 players plus 20-odd staff believe we can win, and we're the only people in Japan who believe we can win. We'll take that situation and maximise it."

Jones' men have lost their past six matches against New Zealand but 11 players in the squad for Saturday's match have experience of beating the All Blacks, either in England's 38-21 victory in December 2012 or the British and Irish Lions' second Test success in 2017.

The England boss believes that will hold the team in good stead as they look to cause an upset.

"I think traditionally when you play against New Zealand, the pace and intensity of the game gets you," said Jones.

"If you have experienced that before, you understand what you have got to prepare yourself for, and most of our squad have been involved in those games so we've got great experience.

"They know what New Zealand are going to bring to the game and they have practised this week to be equipped for it.

"We are ready for the game, we've had two-and-a-half years to prepare for this game so we are ready to go."

George Ford will return at fly-half in the only change for England, while Steve Hansen's sole alteration for the All Blacks sees Scott Barrett replace Sam Cane.

Related items

  • Scarlets confirm talks over Mooar taking All Blacks job Scarlets confirm talks over Mooar taking All Blacks job

    The Scarlets have confirmed they have held discussions with New Zealand Rugby over Brad Mooar joining the All Blacks coaching staff.

    Mooar is in his first season with the Pro14 club after replacing new Wales boss Wayne Pivac.

    The former Crusaders assistant coach's stay in Wales could be short, though, as he is wanted by newly-appointed All Blacks head coach Ian Foster.

    Llanelli-based club the Scarlets on Saturday revealed talks had taken place over a potential return home for Mooar, but negotiations are only at an early stage.

    "We have been made aware that newly-appointed All Blacks head coach Ian Foster would like Scarlets head coach Brad Mooar to join his New Zealand coaching team at the end of the 2019-20 season," said a Scarlets statement.

    "Discussions between the Scarlets and New Zealand Rugby are at an early stage and we are unable to comment further until those discussions are concluded.

    "In the meantime, Brad, the coaching team and playing group, are firmly focused on this evening's crucial European Challenge Cup match against Bayonne, followed by the big Welsh derby matches over the festive season."

    The Scarlets are fourth in Pro14 Conference B and occupy second spot in Challenge Cup Pool 2 ahead of their clash with Bayonne.

  • Hazlewood's hamstring strain confirmed, won't bowl for rest of first Test Hazlewood's hamstring strain confirmed, won't bowl for rest of first Test

    Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood will not bowl for the remainder of the first Test against New Zealand in Perth.

    Hazlewood suffered a hamstring strain during day two and Australia confirmed on Saturday the 28-year-old would not bowl for the rest of the Test.

    He bowled just eight deliveries, taking the wicket of Jeet Raval (1), before the injury.

    Matthew Wade was used for two overs by Australia, who had reduced New Zealand to 129-6 in response to their 416 to begin day three.

    Both teams are a bowler down for the Test, with Lockie Ferguson having suffered a calf strain on day one for the Black Caps.

  • Racing 92 record ninth straight home pool win, Cooney shines for Ulster Racing 92 record ninth straight home pool win, Cooney shines for Ulster

    Racing 92 moved six points clear at the top of Pool 4 by beating Ospreys 40-27 to record their ninth successive home pool win in the European Champions Cup.

    The 2017-18 runners up were without Teddy Thomas, the competition's leading try-scorer, but Racing's two wings - Louis Dupichot and Juan Imhoff - scored three of their team's six tries to shine in the absence of their key man.

    The French side had a 40-5 lead just 15 minutes into the second half and eased off as a result, with Ospreys scoring four of their five tries in the closing 23 minutes.

    With the bonus-point win, Racing opened up a six-point gap above Munster, who face reigning champions Saracens on Saturday.

    Luke Morgan's try saw Ospreys get on the board first but Dupichot, capitalising on a charged-down kick, and Imhoff, intercepting a wayward pass to run in, turned the game on its head.

    The two wings combined again for Imhoff's second and full-back Simon Zebo secured the bonus point before half-time. 

    Replacement Georges-Henri Colombe barged over after picking the ball up from the back of a ruck for a fifth Racing try and Yoan Tanga was similarly unstoppable from close range shortly after.

    Ospreys salvaged some pride and made the scoreline more respectable, though, Lesley Klim handing off Zebo en route to his first try, with the wing adding a second score late on after Luke Price and Shaun Venter had also gone over. 

    John Cooney scored 19 points to take his tally for the season to a tournament-leading 54 as Ulster defeated Harlequins 34-10 to move six points clear in Pool 3.

    Ireland scrum-half Cooney contributed a try in each half, three conversions and an early penalty, with Ulster becoming the first team to win four games in this season's competition.

    Luke Marshall, Matt Faddes and Tom O'Toole were Ulster's other try-scorers, Stephan Lewies providing Quins' only five-pointer.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.