Jones expecting Welsh tricks

Date published: February 10 2017

England head coach Eddie Jones is expecting the Welsh to conjure a cunning plan to get under his player's skin before their Six Nations encounter.

Jones's men take on Wales at Principality Stadium in what could be a must win for both sides to stake their claim as the dominant team in the tournament.

The England boss says that Wales and South Africa are very similar in that both countries are so rugby mad that the general public develop plans to put the visiting team off.

"Wales to me are a bit like South Africa, where the support is absolutely fever pitch," Jones told Stuff.co.nz.

"Rugby means such a lot. You go to the hotel and unless you do things [to prevent it], players get rung incessantly through the night. You go to the ground and the traffic controller [on your bus] drives slower than actual traffic to make sure you are late.

"You get to the ground and there is something wrong with your dressing room – the lights are off or the heater has been switched off. They tell you one thing and something else happens.

"These things happen regularly in South Africa and regularly in Wales. So the challenge for a team is to be better than that. These are things that you can't control. Once we go down the M4 and cross the Severn we don't control anything. The only thing we control is our own mental state and the way we play the game. This week has been a great learning experience for us in understanding that. We are prepared for any shenanigans that might go on. They're a cunning lot the Welsh, aren't they? They always have been."

Jones has been playing some mind games of his own though after he insisted that the roof of the Principality Stadium remain open after the Welsh management announced before the season that they want to keep it closed for the entire tournament.

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