England head coach Eddie Jones has taken responsibility for their defeat to Argentina, stating their Rugby World Cup focus played a significant part in Sunday’s result.
The Red Rose were stunned 30-29 by Los Pumas on Sunday, with Emiliano Boffelli the visitors’ hero by scoring 25 of their points.
It continued England’s disappointing year after they finished the 2022 Six Nations with a losing record following three defeats in five matches.
Jones’ men struggled to find their fluency throughout Sunday’s encounter and the head coach admitted they weren’t ‘focused enough’ on the clash.
Finding a variety of ways to play
“I was very disappointed with the last game,” he said. “We weren’t good enough and it was totally my responsibility.
“When your team doesn’t play to the potential you want, there is always something in the message that you’re giving the team that’s not quite clear.
“When I reflect on the game, we’ve been looking at a number of long-term strategies to get ourselves set for the World Cup, and maybe our focus wasn’t tight enough on the Argentina game. Maybe we were over-thinking a bit, and that’s entirely my fault.
“There’s a cluster of teams at the top of world rugby and we want to break that cluster, and to do that we have to have a number of ways to play the game. This next 11 months is to get enough equipment in our armoury so we can play in any way.”
England will look to bounce back against Japan this weekend and have been boosted by the return of hooker Jamie George.
The front-rower was meant to miss the entirety of the Autumn Nations Series after suffering a foot injury while playing for Saracens in October, but George has recovered quicker than expected.
Collaboration between Saracens and England
“The Saracens staff and our staff have done a great job on him,” Jones said. “It shows the good collaboration between the club and the national team.
“I know he had a final check-up (on Monday) and both agreed he’s ready to keep progressing so we’re hopeful he’ll be in contention for the 23.”
Jones also hopes to have Manu Tuilagi available after he was seen limping off late on in England’s defeat to Argentina.
Fears were raised over whether Tuilagi had sustained another muscle injury, but the head stated that the centre was suffering from blisters on the foot.
“A blister can turn into many things so we’ll just wait and see,” Jones said. “But everything at this time shows him to be in the best nick he’s ever been in, so after that hit-out on Sunday he’ll come into this game in much better condition than he was.”
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The article Eddie Jones: Rugby World Cup focus the reason for England’s defeat to Argentina appeared first on Planetrugby.com.