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South Africa / The World

Eddie Jones hits back at ‘negative’ English press

The response of the British press to England’s Rugby World Cup final defeat has left coach Eddie Jones annoyed.

Jones doesn’t feel the response to the 32-12 defeat at the hands of the Springboks is appropriate.

Springboks the better team

Four years earlier England were knocked out at the group stage in a tournament they hosted to hit an all-time low but the team Jones brought to the 2019 edition were excellent.

“We were beaten by a better team, but I’m so proud of the players,” Jones said.

“I’m disappointed there’s such a negative attitude about our performance.

“We weren’t good enough today – sorry, I apologise! We’ve just got beaten in the final and there’s all this negativity – I find it incredible.”

Jones could not account for the demolition of his team’s scrum by the Springboks, who had been expected to do well but the obliteration of the Roses caught most a little off-guard.

“If I knew, I’d be able to fix it,” Jones snapped when asked about the set piece.

“They won a significant area of the game, which was the scrum, and that trickled down to the rest of the game.

“If you can’t get on the front foot you look like a team that lacks ideas, lacks energy and looks tired.”

An already annoyed Jones fumed when asked if England choked on the biggest stage in rugby.

“You write that, you’re the clever guy,” he fired back.

“We put everything in we could – we just weren’t good enough today. We’re the second-best team in the world.”

Two more years of Jones at England

Jones said that the final against the Springboks was a game England would need to put behind them in order to progress as a unit. The Australian has indicated that he intends to see out the remaining two years on his contract to coach England. The coach said that there were no excuses for the final loss. Jones would not comment on whether he thought England would extend his contract beyond 2021.

“It’s bad luck when you lose a tighthead in the first minute, but it’s not an excuse. You’re better off putting that game to the side and getting on with it.

“Remember three weeks ago, I was going to get the sack – there was going to be blood on the walls at Twickenham. Sorry guys, but you’ve got me for another two years.”

England begin their 2020 Six Nations campaign on Sunday 2 February, facing France in Paris.

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