‘No fear… just get out there and play the game’: Eddie Jones delivers his final message ahead of the World Cup final as he insists England CAN play better than they did against All Blacks
- England face South Africa in the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday
- Eddie Jones has told his players to play with no fear and enjoy the game
- The England head coach insists England can play better than they did against New Zealand in their memorable semi-final
Eddie Jones has delivered his final message ahead of the World Cup final by telling his players to have ‘no fear’ when they go for glory against South Africa on Saturday.
The Red Rose coach has named an unchanged starting XV for the showdown in Yokohama, where England are setting out to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time since 2003.
The eyes of the world will be on the match but Jones has told his players to embrace the occasion that lies ahead.
England head coach Eddie Jones gives a wry smile as he addresses the media on Thursday
Jones was talking ahead of England’s Rugby World Cup final clash against South Africa
‘We’ve had four years to prepare for this game,’ said Jones. ‘We’ve got good tactical clarity about how we want to play, we’re fit, we’re enjoying the tournament — the only sadness is that the tournament is going to end.
‘We’re having a great time, we want it to continue, but it comes to an end so we’ve got one more opportunity to play well. So we want to play with no fear on Saturday, just get out there and play the game.
‘We know South Africa aren’t going to give us the game, they are going to come hard. We’ve got meet their physicality but we are looking forward to that and being able to impose our game on them.’
England’s performance against the All Blacks on Saturday has been lauded as one of the greatest in history.
But Jones has warned the Springboks that the best is yet to come, as his side bid to write their names into sporting immortality.
‘We can definitely play better, there’s no doubt about it,’ said Jones. ‘The players know that. I have been so impressed by the preparation of players throughout the tournament and particularly this week, there’s a steeliness about them but also a nice relaxed feeling because they know they’ve done the work so they can get on with the job.
England captain Owen Farrell smiles ahead of the biggest match of his life
Farrell will start at inside centre in Yokohama on Saturday with George Ford at fly-half
‘It’s all to happen on Saturday, isn’t it? That’s the great thing. We are like any team, we are a bit anxious, a bit nervous but also very excited about the prospect of playing even better.
‘It’s a great lesson for this week that we have to go out there and make the game, take the game to South Africa.. We can’t afford to expect South Africa to give us the game. Our whole mindset this week about is taking the game to South Africa, playing with no fear, where can we take our game to? What level can we take our game to?’
And Jones’ no fear message was reflected in skipper Owen Farrell, who will start in the No 12 jersey outside George Ford.
‘We need to build up as we have done every other week and, as Eddie said, we’re nice and calm and relaxed at the minute,’ said Farrell. ‘We’ve done all the preparation in terms of on-field stuff. We’ll make sure the mental side of it builds up from now.’
Farrell watches on as Jones fields a question at the England press conference on Thursday