England: Eddie Jones shifts attention to blockbuster Test against the All Blacks next weekend

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

England head coach Eddie Jones is already looking ahead to his side’s clash against the All Blacks next weekend, despite claiming a dominant 52-13 win over Japan on Saturday.

Jones’s men put in a much-improved performance after losing to Argentina last weekend, with full-back Freddie Steward shining for the Red Rose.

A chance to beat the All Blacks?

However, it is now all eyes on the upcoming clash with the All Blacks next week as Jones senses a chance to topple the New Zealanders.

“We had a little chat after the game,” Jones said. “It’s an opportunity to play against one of the giants of world rugby. They’re in a redevelopment period for their game. For an England player, it’s a massive opportunity.

“If you look at the history of the sport, it’s been going for 150 years and England have won 19 per cent of their tests against New Zealand. There’s a narrative that says England can’t beat New Zealand but in 2019 we showed that if you’ve got the right attitude and the right game plan then history can be broken.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to break history again.”

Different All Blacks side

Jones admits some of their fantastic win against the All Blacks in the 2019 Rugby World Cup semi-final will be influential in the upcoming clash, but he also noted that much has changed in the New Zealand set-up.

“There will be certain things we did well in that game that will be important in the next game, there will be certain things we did well that won’t be important because their team has changed, they’ve got a different coach, they are playing a slightly different style of rugby than they used to,” Jones said.

“But certainly the guys who played in that game, guys like Owen [Farrell], Mako [Vunipola], Billy [Vunipola], Jamie George and Maro [Itoje] are going to be important in reinforcing to the players that it’s not mission impossible, that if we go after them they are there for the taking – and we are going to go after them.”

Meanwhile, fly-half Marcus Smith, fresh off a brace of tries against Japan, hopes for fans in Twickenham to play their role as the 16th man in next week’s crunch Test.

“We have to light up the crowd, get them right behind us singing Swing Low,” he said.

“We’ve got to sharpen up our skills, sharpen up our attack. If we get our performance right we believe we can win. And if Twickenham is bouncing, right behind us, we know everything is possible.”

READ MORE: Autumn Nations Series: Five takeaways from England v Japan as the hosts’ young guns impress

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