Jones: ‘New Zealand have flaws’

Date published: September 14 2016

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England coach Eddie Jones says the All Blacks are the best team in the world but not unbeatable and have “significant weaknesses”.

Jones is on a mission to dethrone New Zealand as the best rugby team in the world and has suggested the highly rated All Blacks have flaws in their game.

“We want to be the number one team in the world. New Zealand are head of the pack but they have flaws in their game,” Jones told The Guardian.

“They’re a bloody good side but they’re beatable. You’ve got to take on their weaknesses … and they’ve got significant weaknesses. I’m not going to share them with you now; in 2018 I will.”

Despite England winning the Six Nations this year and beating Australia 3-0 in a historic series victory in June, Jones is adamant that his side can still improve as he looks to make up the necessary ground needed to overtake New Zealand.

Jones admitted that he wasn’t very impressed with the rugby England played in the series against Australia and spent time with the Orica cycling team in an attempt to improve his coaching methods. He has also invited Team GB’s women hockey coach, Danny Kerry, to address the England squad at their upcoming training camp.

“His ability to create such a dynamic and hard-working team is fascinating, so we’ll learn a lot from him,” said Jones, speaking at the unveiling of Mitsubishi as the RFU’s performance sponsors.

“We’re also going to visit judo in a couple of weeks and we’ve had conversations with cycling.” A large wrestling mat has been placed in England’s gym as Jones seeks to try to improve his players’ body angles and effectiveness at the breakdown.

He believes if England can improve by 3% in all areas of their game it will transform them from being a good team to an great team able to to win trophies.

“When I am watching the players playing for their clubs I want to see a desire to play for England. We’re looking for players who have that desire. I was not happy with our performance [in Australia] and the more I looked at it the less happy I was but I was really happy with our attitude in the third Test. Physically we had a number of players struggling with injury but mentally in that game we stayed strong.”

Jones wants a couple of his coaching staff to sample the Lions experience on the basis that experience of British domestic rugby alone does not necessarily produce a fully-rounded world-class coach.

“If we want the team to play better then we’ve got to coach better,” he said.

“Our coaches, to a large extent, have been a product of the domestic game here. They need to be products of the international game, which is significantly different. We’ve got Frank Dick, the former British athletics head coach, helping the coaches in that respect and working individually with each of them. We’re taking this very seriously because by 2019 we’ve got to be the best coaching team the world.”

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