Jones has taken great heart from England’s 12-11 win over South Africa and the news that co-captain Owen Farrell will not be cited for his massive hit on Springbok Andre Esterhuizen in the final act of the game.
Now attention turns to the clash with the All Blacks who sent 23 of their players early to London to prepare for one of the most anticipated matches of the year. Jones is keen to portray the All Blacks as a team that wants to impose its athletic ability on the contest but warned opposite number Steve Hansen that his players would not be turning up at Twickenham in “singlets and shorts.”
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Jones, who went into the Springbok game having lost five of his last six tests, said: “ I didn’t need this (win) to make me believe we can beat the All Blacks – I thought we could beat the All Blacks back in 2016. Nothing has changed there, mate!
“It just makes everyone feel a bit better; that’s all it does. If you lose a game like that, you just come in a bit head down. It’s harder to pick them up. We won’t have to pick them up – we’ve just got to get them focused on what are the key things to beat the Kiwis.
“I said to the boys after this game that I can’t wait. I cannot wait. They (All Blacks) are the benchmark for world rugby; the team you want to play against. Where you are in the world, you only know when you play against the All Blacks. Any team that wins 91 per cent of their games is a great team. What other teams in world sport do that?”
The key for Jones this week will be to make the players believe they can knock over the All Blacks and the former Randwick hooker referenced his two games against the Kiwis to explain the power of positive thinking. “I remember facing the All Blacks twice as a player: “explained Jones. “Once was for my club, Randwick, and we believed we could beat them. I think we got beaten 21-12. I think it’s on YouTube.
“ We had the smallest losing margin of any team on tour, including Australia, because we believed we could beat them. I played against them the next week, for New South Wales, and we got beaten 50-0. No-one in that side believed they could beat them.
“You’ve got to believe you can beat them. You’ve got to understand where they’re weak, understand where they’re strong and be disciplined in your game plan. We’re going to start that process on Sunday night and be well prepared on Saturday. Can we beat them? One hundred per cent mate.”
A relieved Owen Farrell also believes England can knock over the reigning World Cup champions. He said: “ Anyone can be beaten. I don’t think any team is unbeatable. We’ve got to make sure we concentrate on what we can do and I’m sure people will talk about all different things this week, we have got to make sure we get better and that shows on the pitch at the weekend.”
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