‘New England’ still a work in progress, says Jones

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LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Eddie Jones’s imaginative and prescient of a “New England” has moved a little into sharper focus through a hat-trick of November victories however the challenge stays very a lot a work in progress and all geared in the direction of the 2023 World Cup, the coach stated on Monday.

After beating Tonga and Australia, England signed off with a dramatic 27-26 victory over world champions South Africa on Saturday, scoring three excellent backline tries in the method.

Conceding 18 penalties – England have averaged 13 over their final 10 video games – was a draw back as they struggled to cope with South Africa’s dominance for lengthy durations however, coming off a fifth-placed end in the Six Nations, it was undoubtedly a constructive month.

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“We set out at the start of the autumn to create a New England which evolved around changing selection, bringing some younger players in and being more aggressive without attack as the game required,” Jones advised a news convention.

“While we’ve had good results, there’s a lot of improvement in us, but the great thing is that we’ve got four campaigns until the World Cup in 2023 so the Six Nations is a great opportunity for us to keep improving.”

After the kick and chase strategy that England adopted final yr, their willingness to get the ball into the fingers of their proficient backs has been one of the uplifting facets of the autumn.

Jones, nevertheless, stated that was much less to do with a change of strategy from him and extra to do with adapting to a shift in emphasis by World Rugby and match officers.

“It’s a direct reflection of the way the game is being refereed. The speed of the ruck ball dictates how you can play rugby – always has and always will,” he stated.

Jones did, nevertheless, give credit score to “absolutely outstanding” new assault coach Martin Gleeson.

“His eye for detail, his understanding of the game is first-class and him and Anthony Seibold in that attack/defence area have really made a good impression on the team and they’ll continue to add value as we go along.”

Jones, who stated he had capped 23 new gamers this yr, was additionally happy with how he has deepened his squad, on the again of summer season video games towards Canada and the United States.

“We’ve had our challenges in terms of COVID and injuries, where maybe some young guys we thought weren’t ready to play at that level of game have been given their opportunity and acquitted themselves really well,” he stated.

“So, we’ve added to the depth, we’ve added to the competition and we’ve also added to the hunger of the side, which is really important, because with the development of some of the younger players it puts enormous competitive strains on getting selected, which is a good position to be in.”

Jones picked out hooker Nic Dolly as a nice instance of how shortly issues can change.

“He was going back to play for Coventry, he got a call up from Leicester and played four or five games for them and finds himself in the England squad, coming up against the best pack in the world and making his debut in front of 82,000 people at Twickenham,” Jones stated.

“What a story in terms of resilience, in terms of just keep doing your work and when the opportunity comes – take it.”

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Reporting by Mitch Phillips; Editing by Shrivathsa Sridhar

Rugby Union - Autumn International - England v South Africa - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 20, 2021 England head coach Eddie Jones during the warm up before the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

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