Jones happy to play All Blacks tomorrow

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

England coach Eddie Jones says his team would be happy to face the All Blacks tomorrow, though feels they’re “miles behind” the world number one ranked team.

The English won’t face New Zealand as a standalone team until 2018, though the British and Irish Lions will be touring the island next season.

Jones has been adamant his goal was to make England the world’s number one side, after rising to second with a series win over Australia this month.

“I don't control that fixture. I'd be happy to play the All Blacks tomorrow,” he said.

With nine straight wins to begin his coaching tenure, Jones said the next challenge was to ensure his team didn’t fall into complacency.

“You can never take [your foot] off (the pedal),” he said.

“As soon as you take it off, you get weak. We can't afford to get weak, we need to be strong because we want to be the number one team in the world.

The All Blacks just completed a 3-0 series win over Wales. Photo: Getty Images“We're miles away from All Blacks so we've got to keep improving.  

“The players can enjoy themselves and they will.

“They'll obviously enjoy the victory but it's important that they understand they've got to keep getting better.”

Jones is not exempt from that improvement, heading over to join Team Orica Green Edge in the Tour de France to pick up some extra tips from the cycling team in the Tour de France.

“If our side's not consistent then our coaching's not good enough so I've got to get better, our coaching staff's got to get better,” he said.

“Our next to months is about us getting better and then how we plan our strategy going forward.”

Jones will be studying vision from the recent U20s World Championship, which England won, and said standout players from that side could win an extended squad contract for next season.

With their next Test against South Africa in October, Jones said the Springboks would be their main focus.