Eddie Jones says England cannot give South Africa the opportunity to play their own game if his side are to triumph in the Rugby World Cup final.

England put in a dominant performance against two-time defending champions New Zealand in the semi-finals, claiming a 19-7 win in Yokohama and progressing to their first World Cup final since 2007.

South Africa were their opponents on that occasion, too, with the Springboks coming out on top 15-6 in Paris.

Rassie Erasmus' South Africa defeated Wales to tee up Saturday's rematch and, while their victory was less convincing than England's against the All Blacks, Jones sees no room for complacency.

The England coach wants his team to seize the initiative early again, having scored with a Manu Tuilagi try after just two minutes to stun New Zealand.

"We just want to go out there and play," Jones told a news conference. "The great thing for us is that we have done the preparation, we know we have done the preparation and we are ready for this occasion.

"We have spent four years getting ready for this occasion. That is why the players can be relaxed, that is why I can be relaxed, because we know we have done the work. We are not relaxed about knowing what is in front of us.

"We know South Africa are going to come hard. They have got a history of being the most physically intimidating team in the world, so we have got to take that away from them.

"The boys know what is ahead of them, everyone knows what is at stake, but because we have had such a good preparation, we can go out there and play without any fear.

"We have got to go out there and make the game, we've got to take the game to South Africa. We can't afford to go in the game and expect South Africa to give us a game.

"So our whole mindset this week is about taking the game to South Africa, playing with no fear, where can we take our game to, what level can we take our game to."

Mako Vunipola will start alongside his brother Billy in an unchanged side for England, and the prop is relishing his chance on the biggest stage.

"I didn't dream of it, not many people get the opportunity to play in a World Cup final," he told Sky Sports.

"Me and Billy are very fortunate we get to share it, with our whole family here as well. Once we get out there, it's just another game. We've got to go out there and do our bit for the team and keep it simple.

"[The team] have spent a long time together now and there's a bond and belief running through the team. We're very confident of what we have in the group but very aware of the challenge ahead."

Billy Vunipola struck a defiant tone ahead of England's Rugby World Cup final with South Africa, telling the Springboks to "bring it on".

His words came after Lood de Jager promised the underdogs would "fight fire with fire" in what the towering South African lock expects to be a bruising encounter in Yokohama on Saturday.

Rassie Erasmus' men produced a gritty display to edge out Wales 19-16 in their semi-final, while England claimed a far more eye-catching 19-7 defeat of reigning champions New Zealand.

But the physical battle will be intense this weekend and Vunipola insists Eddie Jones' side are ready for it.

"They have already come out and said they want to fight fire with fire. I guess we return it by saying, 'bring it on'," said the number eight.

"They are very, very big people but then again we have a few big blokes on our team."

Vunipola revealed the bold approach England took in the semi-final inspired him, with Jones' men combining free-flowing rugby with a controlled aggression that rattled the All Blacks.

"It's something that you probably can't measure, but I think the best way to explain it is that it's quite contagious," he said.

"It shows everyone it can be done, so everyone else tries to follow in the slipstreams of [Sam] Underhill, [Tom] Curry, [Maro] Itoje.

"It's very easy when you see it. A lot of people talk about it and it's easy to sit here and say we want to be brutal, but you have to back those words up."

Vunipola faces a tough fight of his own against opposite number Duane Vermeulen, having ended up on the losing side three times against him.

"He's such a big player for them," Vunipola said. "I played against him last summer and he was monumental in terms of getting them those two victories [in a series the Springboks won 2-1].

"Not just myself, but we've got to try and negate the influence of him and everyone else around him."

Billy Vunipola has Rugby World Cup success in his sights but the England number eight is hoping a bit of pre-match coaching from his auntie does not prove a distraction.

England meet South Africa in the final in Yokohama this weekend after producing a stunning display to beat reigning champions New Zealand 19-7.

Eddie Jones' side are favourites to prevail in a match against opponents who narrowly edged out Wales in their semi-final, favouring a kicking game that is in stark contrast to England's free-flowing style.

Vunipola has been a key part of that approach but, despite being on the brink of glory in Japan, he is still getting tips from the family who have travelled to support him and his brother, Mako.

"They can be a distraction as well," said the 26-year-old of his visiting loved ones. "You know, [getting them] tickets, trying to give you pointers on how to play rugby.

"My auntie is always great for that. But their support is very important to us. I guess that's all we need at the moment.

"My auntie is trying to tell me how to play number eight and things to my brother as well. So, as good as it is to have them, they can be a distraction."

On the serious business of wrapping up the title, Vunipola knows England must reproduce the levels they showed from the start against the previously all-conquering All Blacks. 

"We've set out wanting to be the best in the world and we've got to back up what we did last week," he said. "It can't just be a fluke.

"I think the challenge has been laid out by South Africa and you saw them taking Japan apart and Wales.

"The challenge is going to be up front and so we are going to have to be there, both mentally and physically."

Billy Vunipola has been declared fit to start Saturday's Rugby World Cup quarter-final with Australia in Oita, as Eddie Jones makes three changes to the team which defeated Argentina 39-10.

Vunipola has recovered from an ankle injury suffered against Los Pumas a fortnight ago and will take his place alongside brother Mako, who replaces Joe Marler at loose-head prop.

Courtney Lawes is preferred to George Kruis in the second-row, while in-form George Ford has been dropped to the bench in favour of Exeter Chiefs' back Henry Slade.

It means captain Owen Farrell will switch from inside centre to fly-half with Slade playing alongside Manu Tulagi, as the pair that started four of England's five Six Nations matches reunite in midfield.

In the only other change to the 23-man squad that faced Argentina, Jack Nowell is out with a hamstring injury having not trained this week, with Jonathan Joseph earning a recall.

"We feel Mako (Vunipola) is ready to play a significant part in this game with his ability to scrummage and be effective in general play," said England coach Eddie Jones.

"George Ford will finish the game and will have a significant role for us. We just feel at the start of the game it's going to be brutal and having Owen at 10 will serve the team in the best interests.

"The game of rugby is pretty simple. You've got to win the ball, control the ball and score points when you've got it.

"The Australians are a clever team who will have some specific attacking strategies against us, so we will need to have a greater situational awareness, to defend with brutality and play on top of them"

England: Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler, Dan Cole, George Kruis, Lewis Ludlam, Willie Heinz, George Ford, Jonathan Joseph.
 

Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell are set to make their first appearances at the Rugby World Cup after being named among the England replacements to face Argentina on Saturday.

Prop Vunipola and wing Nowell have recovered from hamstring and ankle injuries respectively to take their place in the matchday squad for the clash with the Pumas at Tokyo Stadium.

Owen Farrell returns to captain the side at inside centre, with Manu Tuilagi back at outside centre and fly-half George Ford keeping his spot after impressive showings against Tonga and the United States.

Eddie Jones makes just one alteration to the starting line-up for England's opening match of the tournament versus Tonga, with lock George Kruis preferred to Courtney Lawes.

Ben Youngs will become his country's third most capped player when he makes a 92nd appearance for England, who are a point clear of France at the top of Pool C.

Jones said: "We are in Tokyo for the first time and the players are excited to be here and have had a good week's preparation so far. We know Argentina are a very good team and our players will be ready for the game.  

"Argentina is a completely different team from others we have played so far in the pool stages and are always about the physical contest.

"This week it's about getting our game right, our set-piece in a good place and making sure defensively we are organised and ready to find ways to score points against them."

 

England team: Elliot Daly, Anthony Watson, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Willi Heinz, Henry Slade, Jack Nowell.

Eddie Jones joked the best way to keep Billy Vunipola fully fit is to keep him away from Kobe beef after naming the number eight in England's side to face the United States in the Rugby World Cup.

Vunipola started in England's 35-3 victory over Tonga on Sunday and was the recipient of some tough tackling from the islanders, who his father had previously captained in the World Cup.

Jones has made 10 changes to England's side for the USA encounter in Kobe on Thursday, though despite the hits he took against Tonga, Vunipola is one of the five players to retain their place.

However, Jones has no concerns over Vunipola's fitness, as long as he can keep the 26-year-old on the field, rather than risking him tucking into Kobe's famous delicacy.

"He loves playing, the best way to keep him fit is to play him and he's an influential player in our team," Jones told a news conference on Tuesday.

"There's a risk him going out and eating Kobe beef tonight, so we feel it's much better he plays rugby than goes out to eat beef.

"We've got a squad of 31. We've got a plan for each player. Some players need to play a lot of rugby and some players are better every so often.

"We've tried to manage the squad in terms of injuries. We've tried to manage them in terms of what we need for each game to ensure we get the desired result."

Vunipola's older brother Mako is also in the squad, though is yet to feature due to injury, with Jones confirming the Saracens man should be available for the contest against Argentina on October 5.

"Mako is still a little while away, he should be available, as should Jack Nowell, for the Argentina game," Jones added.

"[Henry Slade] got a bit of a knock on his knee and we decided not to risk him, we want him right for the next game."

Despite flashes of excellence, mainly from Manu Tuilagi, England struggled to hit their highest level against Tonga, and Jones is confident his side will click up another gear against the USA.

"We're ready for the next step. Looking forward to the USA, they'll be a different proposition, they've had two weeks to prepare for the game," he said.

"We know they've been down in Okinawa training with the marines and they'll be ready for the battle.

"Our aim now is to be a bit tidier in attack, we'd like to execute a little bit better. There was a lot of effort in our game on Sunday but not the execution so we're looking to execute better in attack and be a bit more physical in defence."

Eddie Jones is pleased at how quickly England have acclimatised to life in Japan as they prepare to start the "serious preparation" for their Rugby World Cup opener.

The 2003 winners are set up at a training base in Miyazaki ahead of this year's tournament, though the 31-man squad have been given the chance to do a variety of other activities before the focus switches back to rugby.

They visited a local school during the week, with some players trying their hand at archery, while Jones has allowed them the opportunity to relax as they settle into their new surroundings.

Still, the Australian coach has at times needed to restrict his players from doing too much work in training, wary of a potentially long campaign ahead.

"The players have adjusted really well, really positive. There is a good feeling within the camp," Jones - who was in charge of the Japan national team at the previous World Cup - told the media.

"Everyone is ready to start work and we have actually had to pull players back because they have wanted to work harder.

"We have had a variety of activities on and off the field and I think they feel like they have adapted to the environment as well as they can. Now they are ready to begin the serious preparation for the World Cup.

"The players have a number of opportunities to do different things; they can go and play golf, we have been down the beach on Friday. We have got good training facilities so it is a place where you can prepare to win and that is why we came here."

England take on Tonga on September 22 but will be without prop Mako Vunipola and wing Jack Nowell for their opening fixture.

The Pool C clash with the United States that follows four days later is also going to come too soon for the injured duo, though Jones is hopeful they both may be available for the game against Argentina, which takes place in Tokyo on October 5.

"They are going really well and we are really pleased with their progress," Jones replied, when asked for fitness updates on Vunipola and Nowell.

"We have targeted for both of those guys to be available for the third or fourth game and we are pretty happy with their progress at this stage."

Steve Borthwick has confirmed Joe Launchbury and Henry Slade will be fit to feature in England's opening Rugby World Cup match.

Launchbury sustained a knock in England's final warm-up fixture against Italy, while head coach Eddie Jones was without Slade for all of the preparation games as the centre recovered from a knee injury.

However, the duo will be able to take part in England's World Cup opener against Tonga on September 22, meaning Jones will have 29 of his 31-man squad available for selection.

Mako Vunipola and Jack Nowell will still be missing, with both players expected to be out for at least the first two pool-stage matches.

"Mako and Jack Nowell will be back in the latter part of the group stages," forwards coach Borthwick told reporters following the squad's arrival in Japan.

"Slade is looking, very, very good. Joe Launchbury came off with a back injury at the weekend, but there's nothing concerning there.

"Joe will recover from the flight and will be good to go. While Mako and Jack are unavailable, Slade is on track."

England's travel plans were disrupted due to a typhoon, but Borthwick - who was an assistant to Jones during his stint as Japan head coach - says the squad are in fine spirits despite the delay.

"There was a bit of disruption, but people were very good around the airport. They gave us access to the lounge because they knew we'd been held up," Borthwick said.

"We stayed on the plane for a period of time and then went into the lounge.

"There was also a little delay outside at the airport so the boys started an impromptu game of cricket. It was good, but I didn't have an innings."

After facing Tonga, England - who crashed out of the 2015 World Cup at the first hurdle - will go up against the United States, Argentina and France in Pool C.

Mako Vunipola will miss at least the first two of England's games at the Rugby World Cup, coach Eddie Jones has confirmed.

Prop Vunipola suffered a setback in his hamstring injury and was absent as England defeated Italy 37-0 at St James' Park on Friday in their final warm-up match ahead of the tournament in Japan.

Jones' men led 9-0 at half-time thanks to a trio of Owen Farrell penalties, but Ben Youngs, Joe Marchant, Ellis Genge and Anthony Watson touched down in the second half as Italy were put to the sword in Newcastle.

England next face Tonga in their opening Pool C game in Sapporo on September 22 and take on United States four days later, meaning Saracens forward Vunipola is expected to return against either Argentina or France.

"He's probably going to be right for the third or fourth game," said Jones.

"He just had a little scar tissue which was impairing his movement. But that's all been fixed. He's progressing really well now."

On whether he was worried about taking an injured Vunipola to the World Cup, Jones added: "No, not at all. He's a very important player for us.

"We feel that he's going to be ready to contribute in the World Cup. We've got two looseheads with us who are in great form, one who can play tighthead, so we've got three tightheads as well.

"We're confident that he'll make a great contribution for us."

Exeter Chiefs wing Jack Nowell will also miss England's first two World Cup games after dealing with an ankle injury and appendicitis.

"Jack Nowell is probably in the same category [as Vunipola]," Jones added. "They are important players for us, so we are prepared to be patient with them."

England prop Mako Vunipola will be sidelined for around 10 days with minor hamstring complaint.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) confirmed Vunipola sustained "a small tear of scar tissue" while featuring as a second-half replacement during Saturday's 57-15 win over Ireland at Twickenham.

News of a small setback comes as a relative boost to England coach Eddie Jones after the Saracens front row was ruled out for three months with a hamstring injury in May – the Ireland game marking his return to action.

Exeter Chiefs' Ben Moon will join up with the squad at their training base in Treviso as a temporary replacement.

Moon's club team-mate Jack Nowell could miss the Rugby World Cup as he battles to overcome an ankle problem

Nowell has not featured in any of England's three warm-up Tests to date and was named in the 31-man squad despite suffering his injury during the Premiership final defeat to Saracens in June.

"I think he's going to be touch and go for involvement in the World Cup," Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter told BBC Radio Devon.

"But let's cross our fingers and hope that he can come through."

England play their final warm-up game against Italy at St James' Park next Friday before heading to Japan two days later on September 8.

Jones' men begin their World Cup campaign against Tonga on September 22.

Eddie Jones is hopeful England prop Mako Vunipola did not suffer a serious injury setback when his return to action was cut short against Ireland.

The Saracens front row was ruled out for three months with a hamstring problem in May, meaning he was playing for the first time since the injury on Saturday, a matter of weeks before the Rugby World Cup.

But Vunipola failed to finish the game after coming on as a replacement, prompting fears of a major issue ahead of the tournament in Japan.

Coach Jones was unsure of the extent of the problem but stayed optimistic after an impressive 57-15 win at Twickenham.

"He just felt his hamstring a little bit," Jones told Sky Sports. "We're not sure how serious it is. We're cautiously optimistic he'll be okay."

There was a moment of concern for Ireland, too, with Cian Healy hobbling off shortly before half-time after receiving treatment for an ankle problem.

And there was also a head injury assessment (HIA) for Conor Murray, who briefly came back on before being withdrawn.

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was positive, though, saying: "Conor passed his HIA, he was fine.

"We had a bit of a breakdown in communication - I wasn't going to put him back on, so that was a slip-up on our behalf and we got him off.

"Cian's had an x-ray and the ankle is normal. He sprained it and was pretty uncomfortable. The good news is he did walk from the pitch, so hopefully that's a little bit of promise for us."

Owen Farrell and George Ford will start while Mako Vunipola has been named among the replacements for England's Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Ireland.

Captain Farrell will shift to inside centre and make up a midfield pairing with Manu Tuilagi to accommodate fly-half Ford at Twickenham on Saturday.

Farrell and Ford will be in the same starting line-up for the first time in over a year in England's last match before flying out for the tournament in Japan.

Prop Vunipola is set to feature off the bench after recovering from a hamstring injury, while fit-again duo Tom Curry and Sam Underhill have been included in the back row.

Jonny May comes back in on the left wing, with Joe Cokanasiga moving to the other flank and Eddie Jones has gone with Jamie George, Joe Marler and Kyle Sinckler in the front row.

Jones said: "The players have come back in a very good physical and mental state and we have had a good preparation this week. We purposefully made the week short looking ahead to the World Cup where this might happen beyond our control.
 
"It is the third of four games for us and come September 8, when we get on the plane, we want to be ready to go. This is another step forward for us.
 
"This weekend we will be looking to gain more game fitness and testing different sorts of game strategies. We have a specific way of how we want to play and the focus is very much on ourselves."

 

England: Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell (captain), Jonny May, George Ford, Ben Youngs; Joe Marler, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Tom Curry, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements:  Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson, Willi Heinz, Piers Francis, Jonathan Joseph.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.