Eddie Jones has urged Japan to “go to the temple and pray” as he plans his attack on the team he presided over from 2012 to 2015.

Following a tight 16-15 loss to the All Blacks the English host Japan, who Jones coached to a stunning 34-32 victory over South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

ADVERTISEMENT

Japan captain Michael Leitch recently told media “we’ve been bullied a lot by Eddie and would like to give it back by beating England as a sign of gratitude”.

In response, Jones issued a warning to the Brave Blossoms.

“Pray, pray, pray. Go to the temple and pray. Just pray, it’s the best thing. We’re going to be absolutely ruthless,” Jones said.

“If I was Japan I’d be worried. I wish we were playing tomorrow.

“We want to smash them, physically smash them.

“I know they’re going to come full of confidence. I’ve heard some of the things they’ve said, they’ve been a bit cheeky so look out.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Jones plans to name his strongest possible side, though he may be without several key players.

Hooker Dylan Hartley is nursing a thumb injury and lock George Kruis has a calf injury.

Jones also gave insight into how England would prepare to take on Japan.

“Sushi and sake,” he said. “It’s not logical (to rest players). That’s illogical.

ADVERTISEMENT

“How am I going to train them? I’ve got three days to train them. It’s a good test for us to see how cohesive we can get in a short period of time, which mimics the World Cup.

“Japan are the highest kicking team in the world, they’ve got a really good defence system and they’ve got some good young players coming through.

“We’re taking it seriously and that’s why we have to be absolutely ruthless about the game.”

Japan and England have met just once before, with Saturday’s match set to be their first encounter in over 30 years.

Their only meeting came in Sydney during the pool stages of the 1987 Rugby World Cup, with England running in 10 tries to win 60-7.

In other news:

Video Spacer

Mailing List

Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.

Sign Up Now