England taking baby steps

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

A 3-0 whitewash of Australia is just a baby step for England, coach Eddie Jones said.

In the closest match of the series, England let in five Wallabies tries and Jones said there was plenty of improvement to do.

"We’re not happy with our performance, even though we’re happy with the result we’re not happy with our performance," he said.

"We let [five] tries in today, we shouldn’t do that."

Even Owen Farrell, who kicked 66 of England’s 110 series points across three matches, is not near his best, Jones said.

Jones said the influence of long-time Wallabies nemesis, Jonny Wilkinson, had been pivotal for the inside backs combination of Farrell and George Ford

“We’ve got to be again thankful for Jonny Wilkinson with Owen Farrell and George Ford,” he said. 

“He’s been absolutely terrific on tour. He’s an absolutely outstanding goal kicker.

“He’s still got a long way to go.”

“He’s making baby steps in the right direction and that’s all we‘ve got to do.

“You don’t become world class (overnight), he’s got to be at the top of his game for a long time.”

Owen Farrell can be better: Jones. Photo:Getty ImagesJones said consistency was the next step for Farrell.

“Being a top class rugby player being consistent in application,” he said.

“He’s been making a lot of good decisions. He needs more consistency in skill application but that will come.”

The whitewash was the first for Australia on home soil since South Africa dished out a 3-0 victory in 1971.

Jones did take a moment to acknowledge the influence Australia has had on his career and the quality of the series.

“Fantastic series, wasn’t it,” he said.

“Three really cracker games and hopefully they have brought rugby more into the sports landscape in Australia.

“People in England talking a bit less about pound devaluing more about England going up."