England boss Eddie Jones has no doubt his side will emerge from their current woe as “a champion team” under his stewardship.
The head coach is under fire with England on a dismal run of five Test defeats in a row, the most recent being last week’s 23-12 loss to South Africa in Bloemfontein, which gave the Springboks an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match series.
England, who suffered three consecutive Six Nations defeats – as well as a loss to the Barbarians – prior to their South Africa tour, are therefore only playing for pride in Cape Town on Saturday, but Jones feels success is not far away ahead of next year’s World Cup in Japan.
“Every team I’ve ever been involved with goes through these periods and you have to be able to get through it,” Jones told reporters.
Continue reading below…
“They’re painful, and everyone knows better than you at the time, but once you get through it you have the hallmarks of a champion team and that is where we are going, I have no doubt about it.
“You cannot just expect to keep winning endlessly. You have these periods when it’s tough, but you have to battle through it. It builds resilience, it builds the character of your team, it builds memories and once you get out of it you get a stronger team.
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) June 18, 2018
Rather than being affected by the pressure, Jones insists he is loving the scrutiny he is under.
He added: “Every coaching job is the same. When you are doing well, everyone pats you on the back and when you are not doing well, you’re pulling knives out of your back. That’s the reality of it.
“I’ve been through it before many times. If you coach for a long period of time you have your good periods and your bad periods. These are the great periods.
“These are the periods you look forward to – where everyone thinks you’re done and you have to find a way to win. I’m enjoying it, loving it, absolutely loving it.
“We are disappointed to lose the series, these are tough times at the moment, but in terms of preparing for this week, we need to find a way to put our best performance out there on Saturday.”
Jones said on Monday that he does not feel the need to hold talks with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) to clarify the security of his position.
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.