Jones gearing everything towards Rugby World Cup

  • Jones gearing everything to Rugby World Cup
  • Names squad for Old Mutual Wealth Series on Thursday

England head coach Eddie Jones says everything the national team does from now on will be geared toward winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Jones is halfway into his four-year project, having led England to 19 victories in 20 Test matches, but knows that in order to lift the Webb Ellis Cup in two years’ time, his side has to continually improve.

“It’s hard to be number one in the world; if it was easy every team would do it, it takes pain and extraordinary preparation,” he said.

“The tendency in England is to be comfortable, but when you strive to be number one it is not comfortable.

“I think it’s important that everyone knows what we’re aiming for; if we don’t get there there is no shame, because we are going to do everything we can to get there.”

New season 

England welcome Argentina to Twickenham Stadium on Saturday 11 November for their first Old Mutual Wealth series Test of the autumn.

And after claiming a 2-0 series win over Los Pumas in south America last summer, Jones says he is looking forward to returning to ‘one of the greatest stadiums in world rugby’.

England will then play Australia on 18th and Samoa (25th) November as they look to build on their successful summer, and replicate what to expect come the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup.

“Over the next 18 months we will play against France, Argentina, Tonga and the USA,” explained Jones.

“The opponent on the field might not be those sides, but we will practice our game plan against teams with similar playing styles to those in our Rugby World Cup pool.

“Getting ready for a World Cup is all about rehearsing, so against France we will have a particular game plan. Tonga - probably the most physical team in the world - we have to be ready for that physical onslaught, and then the USA, who are probably one of the most athletic teams in the world.”

Selection nearing

The Australian is set to announce his squad for the November internationals on Thursday 26 October, and after calling on a haul of uncapped players during the summer tour of Argentina - due to British & Irish Lions selection - Jones has a plethora of talent to choose from."I have to do is make them believe they have the potential to be the number one team in the world."

And whilst he believes three of the current roster are ‘knocking on the door’ of being considered world class players, Jones is very matter-of-fact about some of the younger generation coming through the ranks.  

“I think there are a lot of good players here but they can lack competitive desire, and our job is to make them absolutely competitive every minute of the day.

He added: “This team has got so much potential but the main thing I have to do is make them believe they have the potential to be the number one team in the world, and win a world cup."