England head coach Eddie Jones has further elaborated on the week leading up to the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama, suggesting some blame may lie on other members of his coaching staff for selections.
Jones, who was coaching the Barbarians for their Twickenham game with Fiji, was speaking to the BBC prior to game when he made the comments.
The 59-year-old coach had already admitted that he failed to refresh the team after the momentous semi-final victory over New Zealand, yet here he implied the blame for selections may have lie with other members of England’s coaching staff.
Forwards coach Steve Borthwick, defence coach John Mitchell, scrum coach Neal Hatley and attack coach Scott Wisemantal would have all have had input in the selection process in the lead up to the most important game in recent England history.
“Looking back in hindsight, and you’re always a bit brighter in hindsight, I should have refreshed the team for the final.
“I probably did get seduced by the semi-final.
Any #RWC2019 regrets?
Eddie Jones has a few. pic.twitter.com/NtcyrDTJKf
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 16, 2019
“We were looking at different combinations. One of the things we did well in the tournament was keep the team fresh.
“Certainly we had some vigorous selection debates during the week and I just wasn’t strong enough.
“The players were very focused and worked hard to get themselves right. We trained on Wednesday and in hindsight I can tell we were just a little bit off.
Jones however said he didn’t lose sleep on the night before the game thinking about selections.
“These things are just things that you think about after the event.
In his brand new autobiography, My Life and Rugby, Jones admits the two selection calls that he failed to make.
‘I accept that I made two selection mistakes for the final,’ said Jones. “I should have chosen Joe Marler ahead of Mako Vunipola at loose-head prop and I should have reverted to the Owen Farrell–Manu Tuilagi–Henry Slade midfield we used against Australia. George Ford could have come off the bench when we had got into the game.”
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now