- England's 2018 Old Mutual Wealth Series fixtures confirmed
- Jones takes backroom team to Japan for Rugby World Cup recce
In two years’ time the 2019 Rugby World Cup will kick off in Japan.
The tournament which takes place across 12 host cities begins on 20 September with England facing France, Argentina, United States and Tonga in Pool C.
The 2019 Rugby World Cup will culminate on 2 November and with two years to go a 46-day nationwide roadshow will kick off in Shibuya, Tokyo, with the Webb Ellis Cup visiting all host cities and Japan’s top league venues over the period.
England head coach Eddie Jones recently took senior members of his backroom team to Japan for a recce ahead of the tournament where they visited Tokyo, Yokohama, Miyazaki and Kobe, while looking at multiple venues such as potential training bases and hotels ahead of the event."We are getting to the very serious part of the build up to the Rugby World Cup."
"There are two years to go so we are getting to the very serious part of the build up to the Rugby World Cup," said Jones.
"I took staff from each department to Japan for them to start familiarising themselves with Japan and understand the possible climatic conditions as well as get a feel of what it is going to be like to play in the World Cup there."
England will arrive in Japan ahead of the Rugby World Cup in early September 2019, and Jones wants their training bases to be as 'normal' as possible.
"We've got a pretty good idea of when we’ll arrive and we're just finalising our pre-World Cup camps and where they will be. We'll look to come here around 3-6 September and there is a possibility of playing a warm-up game shortly after that. We are looking to play similar teams to the ones we face in the pool stages."
The former Japan coach also believes with two years to go that his squad are at a crucial stage in their preparation for the event.
They face Australia, Argentina and Samoa in the remainder of 2017, while also competing in the 2018 Six Nations before a three-game tour of South Africa. Jones’ side then face South Africa (3 November), New Zealand (10 November), Japan (17 November) and Australia (24 November) in the autumn of 2018. "We are going to be judged by what we do at the World Cup so the next two years’ are going to be the most difficult two years."
“There is still a big step to make if we want to be the number one team in the world,” said Jones.
“We are going to have to be meticulous in everything we do.”
Jones was appointed England head coach in November 2015 and having reached the halfway point of his tenure is aware of the size of the challenge his team face in attempting to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
And when assessing his side's progress in the two years he has been in charge, Jones added: “It’s been satisfactory but at the end of the day we are going to be judged by what we do at the World Cup so the next two years’ are going to be the most difficult two years.
“We need to be the best prepared team in the world because to win the World Cup is going to take an extraordinary performance and to do that we have to have extra ordinary preparation."
England Rugby Travel has been exclusively appointed as Great Britain’s travel agent to operate official travel and ticket packages for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
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It is also anticipated the match schedule and ticketing programme will be announced before the end of the year, meaning that fans will be able to plan their Rugby World Cup 2019 experience.