No praise for England

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Praise is England’s worst enemy this week, coach Eddie Jones says.

With an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, Jones has been quick to warn his players against complacency and the danger of believing their own hype.

“When you've had a couple of wins praise can make you weak,” he said.

“Praise can definitely make you weak and we've got to be very careful that all the praise that's been going on doesn't make us weak.

“Because you become weak once, you can become weak twice.

“To be a champion team you can't be like that.”

Jones said there hadn’t been anything extraordinary about his approach to the final week of the series but was more wary of the external pats on the back the players were receiving.

“Just had the normal process of building towards a game,” he said.

“When I've felt they've needed a sharpness, I've maybe given it to them but otherwise we want them to feel good about themselves.

“But outside praise is dangerous for a team. They've been getting a lot of it. So we've just got to be careful.”

Eddie Jones hasn't let up this week. Photo: Getty ImagesJones said anyone who did fall prey to their own hype would learn pretty quickly in what is a hugely competitive environment.

“It comes down to mental strength,” he said.

“If they become weak, allow themselves to be weak through praise to think what people are saying is true then they won’t be in the team.

Captain Dylan Hartley said from the first win, they knew they had to keep their blinkers on.

“In Brisbane, everyone’s egos, we had to park them because you guys are writing nice things, you friends, your family, your extended kind of network...everyone wants to tell you how good you are and well done on the series,” he said.

“It’s just inflating your ego and it can blind you. We’ve all made a conscious effort,we’ve spoken about parking those egos.

“We’ve prepared for this game like it’s a decider.”

A whitewash would be the first against Australia at home since South Africa in 1971 and Jones has said all week his team was readying for the match as if it were a World Cup final.