England coach Eddie Jones follows Lions route to ‘climb Everest’ and conquer All Blacks at Twickenham
- England will look to the Lions Tour as they plot a way to beat the All Blacks
- Nine of Eddie Jones’ squad featured in last year’s 24-21 Lions victory over them
- Jones said it will be like climbing Everest but has been buoyed by Saturday’s win
- He may be forced into changing in his back row with Tom Curry nursing an injury
England have compiled a dossier of player notes from the Lions tour on how to ‘climb Everest’ and beat the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday.
Senior players were pulled together for a meeting on Sunday night as they plot the biggest upset of the Eddie Jones era.
Nine of Jones’s squad featured in last year’s 24-21 Lions victory in Wellington and the head coach wants a repeat performance.
Eddie Jones will use player notes from the Lions tour on how to beat the All Blacks
An ankle injury to Tom Curry is likely to force changes in the back row, but the 12-11 victory over South Africa has buoyed Jones. He said: ‘Our boys who played for the Lions made notes about what they felt worked and what they felt didn’t work. We’ve got a pretty good idea of how we want to play.
‘We’ve got John Mitchell and myself who have coached against them a few times. I’ve been beaten by 50 points and I’ve been lucky enough to have a few victories as well. It’s not Pythagoras’s theorem. You’ve got to be in the game and, when you get the opportunity to score points, you’ve got to be good enough to take them.
‘We need to be absolutely brutal up front and clinical when we get opportunities. If you look back at that Lions series, the Lions would have won if they had been clinical with their opportunities.’
The Lions debrief highlighted the All Blacks’ lineout as a target area, while Jones has noted how Springbok scrum-half Faf de Klerk disrupted their rhythm at the ruck last month.
New Zealand have won 91 per cent of their games since the 2015 World Cup and former No 10 Dan Carter claimed the current team is better than the 2015 vintage. But Jones plans to knock their belief with ferocity and inch-perfect tactics.
Tom Curry’s ankle injury is likely to force changes in England’s back row on Saturday
Sam Underhill is one of two options expected to come into the side for the injured Curry
‘I’ve never coached against a New Zealand side that doesn’t expect to win,’ he said. ‘It’s in their blood. You go to a sandwich shop and they tell you how they’re going to beat you. You go to fill your car up and they tell you how they’re going to beat you.
‘The challenge is to make them feel as though they are not confident, like there is something at the back of their heads that they have got to scratch. The great thing is that when you do beat New Zealand, you climb Everest.
‘When they win, the whole country’s buoyant. When they lose, GDP falls down, unemployment goes up; everything changes.’
With Curry highly unlikely to recover by the weekend, Jones said Sam Underhill and Mark Wilson are next in line to wear the No 7 jersey. The return to fitness of Courtney Lawes will provide another back-row option.
The England coach has been buoyed by their victory over South Africa on the weekend
‘Against South Africa, we scrummed like we were in the penthouse and the outhouse,’ said Jones. ‘We varied between the two and we need more consistency.’
England’s power game has also been boosted by cautiously optimistic injury news for centre Manu Tuilagi, who was the star of England’s last victory over the All Blacks in 2012.
Jones also believes rugby games should have two referees in light of the increasing number of controversial decisions.
Fly-half Owen Farrell escaped sanction for a no-arms tackle at Twickenham on Saturday and Jones claimed the game is becoming harder to officiate. He said: ‘The intensity of the hits is higher. We are asking one referee to do it the way they did it when blokes like me were playing, jogging around.
‘They may have to look at two referees on the field. Things don’t change quickly in rugby so maybe it’ll take 15 or 20 years.’
Owen Farrell escaped sanction for no-arms tackle and Jones feels it’s getting hard to officiate
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