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George Furbank: England won't rip up Six Nations playbook vs Japan

George Furbank talks to the media during an England press conference on June 17, 2024 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Koki Nagahama - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Northampton Saints’ Gallagher Premiership-winning full-back George Furbank says that England won’t be tearing up the Six Nations script when they play Eddie Jones’ Japan this Saturday.

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Japan hosts Steve Borthwick’s England at the National Stadium in Tokyo – which fans in the UK & Ireland can watch for free on RugbyPass.TV – and the Cambridgeshire-born talent offered some insight into his country’s preparations during a press conference on Monday.

Furbank, 27, who featured prominently in the Saints’ 25-21 victory over Bath, was handed his England debut by Jones in 2020.

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The English star spoke highly of his former coach who will take the reins over the Brave Blossoms on Saturday against his former charges for the first time in his second stint in the role.

For Furbank, when the Japanese media inevitably brings up Eddie Jones and his former association with England, the former amateur age group cricket star holds his ex-coach in high esteem.

“I got on well with Eddie, he gave me my first cap, I’m appreciative, he was a unique coach, I’ve never had a coach like him before, he was good to me and definitely came in and made the team better.”

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When quizzed about what he learnt from Eddie, Furbank said: “Different variations of playing off nine, playing off 10, that I hadn’t seen before, subtle things to the way that he wanted his teams to play.”

Furbank believes there’s continuity in England’s ranks and that their game plan won’t be too different to what they offered in the Six Nations.

“I can’t give everything away can I, we’ve had a focus on Japan and what they’re like as a group but most of the focus is on us this week, we have a clear game plan and nothing will change too much from the Six Nations.”

In terms of players on the radar of the English squad, Furbank singled out Siosaia Fifita as a potent attacking threat from Japan’s back three.

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“We’ve done analysis on individuals and back-three wise they have Fifita, who plays either wing or 13, he’s a dangerous ball carrier, (Rikiya) Matsuda at 10 as well, they’ve got threats all over the park, we’ve got to be wary on the weekend.”

“Japan has a new coaching setup so we don’t know exactly what to expect,” said Furbank.

“We’ve been watching a decent amount of Top League (League One) from Japan so it’s probably going to be something similar to that

“There’s a lot of ball in play and a lot of quick ball and offloads, that’s the sort of game we expect them to go after.”

Furbank, who enjoyed Premiership success a week ago with his club, said there’s a lot of excitement in the English camp about the prospect of playing at the Olympic Stadium.

“We’re very excited, the boys who were with the Saints and the boys who’ve already had a few weeks training, we’re really excited to play at the Olympic Stadium against what we think is a very good team.”

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The highly-regarded Englishman has enjoyed his experience of Japan and was impressed by the training facilities they’ve experienced at League One division one-bound outfit Urayasu D-Rocks.

“I’ve loved Japan so far, it’s a completely different culture, we had the weekend off so a few boys went out and did some different things.

“It’s been really good (at the D-Rocks), the pitches are really good, they’ve got a decent gym and warm-up area, it’s been a nice place to train.”

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2 Comments
T
T-Bone 30 days ago

A lot of England chirp going on
Never thought they were like that 🤷‍♂️😉😃

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