Eddie Jones has declared himself pleased with the latest low-frills England win this month, claiming the 24-13 victory over Wales at Llanelli was firm evidence of the progress his team have made since 2019 when they lost in Cardiff.  

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England’s third successive Autumn Nations Cup win – and their seventh in total since a February Six Nations defeat away to France – has them lined up to host the French in next weekend’s decider at Twickenham.   

Jones feels that England will go into that final with a spring in their step having come away from Wales with a victory in similar circumstances to how they lost a year ago. England led 10-3 at the break in February 2019 but got distracted on the resumption and lost 13-21.

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Scott Quinnell felt Wales had a genuine chance of beating England

On this occasion, though, they turned an 11-7 interval lead into an eleven-point victory to leave the coach generally enthused by what he had seen in a display where tries were scored by Henry Slade and Mako Vunipola. 

Asked what pleased him most about the win in Llanelli, Jones replied: “That we learned a lot in twelve months. At half-time, it could have been like watching a psycho horror movie. The woman goes for a shower and you know what is coming behind the shower curtain. 

“It was the exact same situation as the game in the Millennium Stadium. We had managed to play in the first half, were slightly ahead, Wales did a few things at the end of the first half to put us off our game and then we had a choice at half-time how we would react. 

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“Would we allow them to continue to do that or do we stick to our game? The boys I thought showed really good tactical discipline to just stick to our game. We had one little wonky period for about ten minutes in the second half but generally speaking we had game control so I was really pleased about that, really pleased.”

Jones, who stuck to his policy of not commenting after matches on the performance of the referee, added: “We’d like to play with a little more fluency but it is just not there at the moment but I’m certainly pleased with the boys’ effort. 

“Their work today was outstanding. We’d like to play a little bit more with some precision and fluency with the ball in hand. We’re not quite there yet but we have one more week to do it. It’s going to be a good week.”

Next Sunday’s final will see 2,000 spectators allowed to watch at Twickenham, something Jones believes will help to bring the best from his England team whom he says came through against Wales with no injury concerns.

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“We want to put a smile on their faces. Hopefully, there was plenty of fans at home today watching with a smile on their face. It’s nice to see rugby returning back to having fans as part of the community, an active part of the community rather than a virtual part of the community. We want to make sure we put a big smile on those faces. 

“For us, it is more a chance to get better again. I don’t feel like we have played our best rugby yet so it’s the last game of 2020 and we want to make sure we put on our best performance. We want to make sure we put on a performance that lights up people’s eyes.”

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