Eddie Jones wants England to be the best rugby team in the world

Jones and England are still licking their wounds after losing 32-12 to South Africa in the final of the tournament that was hosted in Japan.

England rugby coach Eddie Jones. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Eddie Jones says he still has unfinished business with the England national team following the Rugby World Cup.

The Australian’s contract with the Rugby Football Union ends at the end of 2021.

Jones and England are still licking their wounds after losing 32-12 to South Africa in the final of the tournament that was hosted in Japan.

The victory saw the Springboks win a third Webb Ellis Trophy.

With the memory of the loss still fresh, Jones told Cape Talk’s afternoon Drive with John Maytham that he sees himself continuing with England for the foreseeable future.

“I think the stats show that we were the youngest side that’s ever made the World Cup final and there’s a lot of ways to go”, he said.

“I think with the experience of having been through 2003 (losing the final with Australia), it’s allowed me personally to handle this defeat better and I’d like to make this England side the best team in the world and that is the challenge going forward”.

Reflecting on the final defeat itself, Jones admits he doesn’t know what went wrong when his players walked out on the field.

England went into it as favourites having ended New Zealand’s 12-year dominance in the competition with a 19-7 win in the semi-final.

“Sometimes you don’t know and sometimes it’s obvious that your preparation wants good, the players weren’t quiet there and there’s other times you’ve got no idea”, he said.

“We had a good preparation, I feel our mental focus was good. We understood what South Africa were going to bring to the table. They had a pretty consistent game plan. We knew we would have to win the box kicks, we knew if we lost the box kicks they would attack out wide.

But we just couldn’t get on the front foot of the game and at the end of the day we couldn’t get on the front foot.

We didn’t win the kicking game. The first couple of scrums went badly for us and the referee created an impression on the scrum. Then we were on the back foot the whole game. And we weren’t going to beat South Africa by playing a long phase game, we understood that.

They were very few areas of the game where we could get on the front foot. I thought South Africa played by far their best game of the tournament. They were absolutely superb”.

While he may see his immediate future with the Red roses, Jones admits that he wants to end his career ushering in the next generation of rugby or cricket players.

“I’d love to finish as a teacher,” he admitted. “I can’t think of any better than being a director of rugby or cricket at a big private school, wandering around on a Thursday afternoon telling the batsman to get his elbow up or telling the number 10 to make sure he stays square when he catches the ball. Giving something back would be a great experience”.

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