NZ Herald: England coach Eddie Jones has detailed what he believes makes New Zealand the world’s greatest rugby nation.
Jones, who masterminded England’s famous semifinal World Cup victory over the All Blacks, gave New Zealand that honour in his autobiography My Life and Rugby, writing about his significant respect for New Zealand rugby and the All Blacks.
“Usually, they are the only country that can produce a winning team year after year because the whole nation is willing on the All Blacks,” Jones writes.
“All their resources are poured into the objective of improving the national team. That priority has now been copied by most tier-one nations.
“In New Zealand, the expectation is off the charts. The national mood swings with the performance of the All Blacks. For me, it is the world’s greatest rugby nation. I know they always get stuck into me and I always get stuck into them, but beneath the banter is a deep and mutual respect for the game and its values.
“New Zealand is the spiritual home of rugby.”
Jones argues that New Zealand and South Africa are the greatest countries to tour in rugby, as the quality on display and significance of each game means that the two rivals stand above the rest of the top rugby nations.
He also adds his thoughts on how the All Blacks’ constant evolution of talent is something he looks to emulate in his sides, pointing to how the likes of George Bridge and Sevu Reece stormed their way into the starting lineup this year.
“Selection is a key lever in building teams. You are always looking to build depth and each year you want to bring in two or three new guys. If you look at the All Blacks, it’s striking how they continue to evolve. Large parts of the New Zealand team are stable but there is always movement. The way they treat wingers is a good example. There is a constant rotation of talent.”
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.