England coach Eddie Jones has claimed his team were spied on Tuesday morning during a training run ahead of their World Cup semi-final against the All Blacks.
In a drama-filled press conference later in the afternoon, Jones said someone was filming from an apartment overlooking their training ground this morning. Jones also hit out at the New Zealand media, suggesting they were ‘fans with keyboards’.
“There was definitely someone in the apartment block (across from the training ground) filming, it might have been a Japanese fan. You just don’t need to do it anymore. You can watch everyone’s training on Youtube. There’s absolutely no value in that anymore.”
When asked why he didn’t send security personnel to investigate, Jones said: “Don’t care, mate. Don’t care. We knew from the start that they were filming and it doesn’t change anything we do. We have two security guards – Prince Harry’s… and the ex-Prime Minister’s. Only those two. Lovely blokes.”
Asked whether he thought the filming was unethical, Jones jokingly said he had someone at the All Blacks training, too. “We used to do it [secretly film opposition training sessions]. I haven’t done it since 2001. There’s no need. Everyone knows what everyone else does. There are no surprises in world rugby anymore.”
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Jones also insisted the English team were under no pressure ahead of the blockbuster semi-final. According to Jones, the All Blacks’ mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka will have his hands full this week. “We don’t have any pressure, mate. No one thinks we can win. There are 120 million Japanese people out there whose second team are the All Blacks.
“They [the All Blacks] have got to be thinking, they’re looking for a third straight World Cup, so there will be pressure there. I don’t think they are vulnerable but the pressure is real.
“The busiest guy for them will be Gilbert Enoka. They will be talking about it the whole week. It’s potentially the last game for their greatest ever coach (Steve Hansen), and for their greatest ever captain (Kieran Read).
‘Alleviating pressures is really important. It’s a hell of a complex job to create a winning, competitive environment’
– Former @AllBlacks Wayne Smith tells @JLyall93 about coaching and culture in Japan where @rugbyworldcup has captured hearts and mindshttps://t.co/Z4Qi0q8ZoI
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 19, 2019
“We have been preparing for this game for two-and-a-half years. Even back then we knew that we would play New Zealand in the semi-finals. We believe we have built the game to take New Zealand.”
Asked whether he was hoping Hansen and the All Blacks would respond to his claims, Jones had a go at the New Zealand media. “Someone has to ask questions, mate, because the New Zealand media doesn’t.
“You guys are just fans with keyboards, so someone’s got to ask them some questions about what’s going on. The English media, as I said, one week ago I was going to get sacked. We couldn’t play. So we deal with a completely different situation.”
– New Zealand Herald
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