England ‘tighter together’ after Cheika comments

Date published: December 3 2016

England boss Eddie Jones feels the squad are closer together after a week of mud slinging ahead of facing Australia.

Michael Cheika openly questioned the legality of England’s scrum earlier this week, Dan Cole especially, after the England prop was scrutinised throughout the three-match series earlier this month.

Jones said on Friday that England were ready for everything Australia had to throw at them, adding that he felt his side would clinch the result in the final quarter.

“Michael’s upset so he’s got his machine gun out, he’s firing away at different sorts of people. We’ve just focussed on our preparation, getting on with it,” Jones said.

“It certainly hasn’t had an impact on us. It’s probably drawn us tighter together. The players are upset about the comments about Dan Cole – in a positive way.

“We respect each of our team-mates and we respect Australia as a team. You know, to single out a player is maybe not the right thing to do.

“To beat Australia we’ve got to break them mentally and physically. We know they’re going to come out in the first 20 minutes like there’s no tomorrow.

“We’ve got expectation, we want to play well. There’s always anxiety involved in expectation but that’s good anxiety.

“The players are sharp and on it. They want this game, it’s a big game for us. We’ve prepared well so we’re ready to go.

“We’ve practised, we’re equipped to handle it and we’ll win the game in the last 20. They have players who like to throw themselves around quite a bit. It’s going to be a game for young and old.”

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