England must not lose faith with Eddie Jones’ plan despite a poor run of results, according to legendary former New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter.
Jones’ men opened their three-Test series against South Africa with a thrilling 42-39 defeat on Saturday, despite having lead 24-3 in the early exchanges at Ellis Park.
The loss was England’s fifth in succession, including one at the hands of the Barbarians two weeks prior, coming on the back of Six Nations reverses to Scotland, France and Ireland.
After 25 victories from his first 26 matches in charge, Jones’ methods are beginning to come under question but Carter, who won the 2015 World Cup with the All Blacks, believes there is no need to panic, just over a year out from the 2019 finals in Japan.
Behind the scenes on game day ?
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— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) June 10, 2018
“Obviously they’re getting a bit of a hard time at the moment after their Six Nations performances,” Carter said. “So, I think they’ll learn a lot from that.
“Eddie Jones is a smart, tactical coach, and he’ll have a strategy and plan even though he’s been put under a bit of pressure from the Six Nations.
“He has to stick to his plan and his long-term plan to get the best out of the players at the World Cup. He has to stay strong, they’ve definitely got the players there.
“As long as they can stay tight and connected as a team, they will be one of the top teams when the tournament comes around next year.”
Carter also opened up about a significant defeat of his own in an interview with The Guardian.
“The defeat to France was a huge lesson,” Carter said of being part of the All Blacks’ worst World Cup effort that saw them eliminated in the quarter-finals in 2007.
“Under pressure, we withdrew into ourselves and stuck to what the coaches had said. We stopped thinking.
“I learned then that for all the time you spent in the gym and on the training field, not enough was done in terms of mental preparation. When I started my career, if you said you were going to see a psychologist, everyone would ask if you were all right. Now they say that if you don’t.
“If I could change one thing in my career I would pay more attention to the mental side from the start.
“In 2015, I saw a psychologist, Gilbert Enoka, every week. It allowed me to confront my demons so that playing France in another quarter?final in Cardiff (in 2015) became a positive, lucky enough to have the chance for revenge, rather than being haunted by ghosts.
“It is amazing how powerful a tool the mind is. I was emotional after the 2015 final because it was my last match for New Zealand and I finally had the medal I felt I deserved.”
Carter will finish off his playing days when he joins Top League side Kobe Steelers in Japan.
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