Eddie seems ready for the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Andrew Roar Pro

By Andrew, Andrew is a Roar Pro

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62 Have your say

    With it being two years since England’s early World Cup exit on home soil, and just under two years until Japan 2019 kicks off, Eddie Jones has officially entered (you guessed it) phase two of his reign as England coach.

    This is a critical juncture for Jones, as the next 12 months will give him ample opportunity to assess which of his squad will be up for the challenge of the World Cup, and which will be shipped off to the rugby glue factory, also known as the Japanese Top League.

    This will culminate in a mouth-watering match against the All Blacks on November 10 next year – the first time they will have clashed in four years and a true marker of their potential performance in 2019.

    However, Jones’ men have quite a bit of rugby to play before then, beginning with their Twickenham Test against Argentina on November 11, and including a full slate of Autumn Internationals, the Six Nations and a tour of South Africa.

    The Aviva Premiership is a much higher quality proposition than it was even a few years ago, and this season has promised to be a cracker, however at present it resembles M*A*S*H, with the likes of Billy Vunipola, Jack Nowell, Chris Robshaw and Tom Wood all spending time on the sidelines amidst an injury crisis across all clubs.

    Perhaps the best thing that could’ve happened for Jones to prepare for this was the two-Test tour of Argentina in June. Being shorn of his Lions call-ups enabled him to throw several newcomers in at the deep end, with most swimming and not sinking.

    This will come in handy as surely by September ’19 he will need to have moved on from the angriness of Mike Brown, the thuggishness of Dylan Hartley, the stupidity of Manu Tuilagi (still dining off his 2012 All Blacks game) and the witless ‘banter’ of James Haskell.

    There is a theory that bounds around football regarding how certain managers are destined to be restrained by the law of diminishing returns, best demonstrated recently by Roberto Martinez at Everton and Slaven Bilic at West Ham. They had both replaced very safe, plaid and pragmatic managers, and their loosening of the previous regime’s constraints, combined with adding their motivational spirit, instantly turned the teams around, leading them to unprecedented heights.

    By mid-way through their second seasons the magic had worn off, and their third seasons were disasters (Bilic’s third-season disaster is currently unfolding).

    After the loss to Ireland in March this year, I thought this effect could take hold, as Jones had re-invigorated everything to do with English rugby after taking over from the headmaster-like Stuart Lancaster. Perhaps this was the ‘magic wearing off’ moment?

    Instead, it was a blip – Jones has taken full advantage of the groundwork that Lancaster laid, and elevated players like Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje into some of the best in their position in the world.

    Jones appears to be a different man to the one who presided over the Reds’ 92-3 loss in 2007 (never forget!), with the spikiness and belligerence being replaced with more of a wink and a nod, a piss-taking element if you like, in most his ‘out there’ comments. His willingness to learn from outside influences, such as football genius Pep Guardiola, are impressive and breaks the mould of ‘proper rugby men’ being obsessed with rugby, and rugby only.

    A life-changing stroke in 2013, in the midst of his time as coach of Japan, more than likely has something to do with his second wind as a top-class international coach, with all the perspective that sort of event brings.

    If Eddie Jones can keep England on the upward trajectory they are on, he should be feted as an Australian rugby legend. Take it easy on the Wallabies though, mate.

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    The Crowd Says (62)

    • Roar Guru

      October 13th 2017 @ 10:16am
      PeterK said | October 13th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      England have a hard pool

      England, France, Argentina, USA and Tonga

      Australia’s will be physical as well

      Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Canada (most likely)
      Fiji has a real chance of making the QF’s

      NZ and Boks only threat is each other but will have 1 other physical game
      New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, (africa qualifer), best of whats left

      Ireland and Scotland easiest
      Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe qualifer, Samoa

      Samoa has a real chance of making the QF’s.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 11:06am
        Dan from Fiji said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report


        Do you also think Japan has a chance to make the QF’s?

        • Roar Guru

          October 13th 2017 @ 11:17am
          PeterK said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:17am | ! Report

          yes, it all depends on the draw

          If either Samoa or Japan have a decent break before they play Scotland then an upset is possible

      • October 13th 2017 @ 6:08pm
        David said | October 13th 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

        What makes you think Japan/Samoa or Fiji have a good chance of making the Quarters? Especially Samoa or Japan, given how much Scotland have recently improved?

        • Roar Pro

          October 13th 2017 @ 7:58pm
          Andrew said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

          Yes I have a sneaking suspicion Scotland will be peaking in time for the World Cup. They have the talent and were making great strides under Cotter. I think Gregor Townsend will help them kick on further.

      • October 14th 2017 @ 9:21am
        PiratesRugby said | October 14th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

        While Ireland’s pool might not have any heavyweights, it is probably the most competitive pool with 4 teams that could all make it out of the pool stage. I reckon that some of the best games of the RWC will come out of that pool. I also think that Wales’ games against Aus and Fiji will be tight.
        And I think Jones has taken England to where the Wallabies would’ve been if Link was still coach. Cheika is a millstone around our necks.

    • October 13th 2017 @ 10:38am
      Daniel said | October 13th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

      England have been very impressive under good ol’ Aussie Eddie (love how most of England’s teams are now coached by Aussies now that Bennett is coaching their League side), but that said in his whole time as coach they have yet to play a single match against the All Blacks.

      Without that all important yardstick, it’s difficult to get a solid read on just how good England are. Sure, they beat all the other sides, but frankly none of the other sides have been anywhere near NZ for years now. A good example is the series against Australia last year – it sucked watching the Wallabies go down 3 nil, but the Wallabies were more competitive through their games against England than they were against the All Blacks merely a month later.

      Why England and NZ have seemingly been going out of their way to NOT play each other over the past 4 years I don’t quite know, but as things stand I still suspect England are still a ways off the total rugby skills of the All Blacks and I’d wager that Wayne Smith is even more meticulous and neurotic than even Jones.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 11:12am
        Kane said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

        going out of their way to NOT play each other over the past 4 years.

        They played in the EOYT in 2012 and 13.

        They then played four times in 2014, with NZ winning all of them.

        2015 being an RWC year and seeing how horrible England were no one needed to see them play to see who the best team in the world was.

        So in 2015 after the RWC there was really no urge to see NZ v ENG when they were organising the upcoming tours.

        I think its rude to say they’ve been avoiding each other. For several of those years it was a match that no one wanted. its really only 2016-17 that they haven’t played and considering in the beginning of 16 they were ranked very low and 17 the lions toured there hasn’t been too much of an opportunity.

        • October 13th 2017 @ 2:26pm
          Jacko said | October 13th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

          true Kane….The schedule is made up plenty of time ahead anyway so hard to acuse anyone of avoiding anyone else

        • Roar Pro

          October 13th 2017 @ 8:02pm
          Andrew said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:02pm | ! Report

          From memory NZ were also a bit pissed off about the gate receipts they get from Twickenham as well (could be wrong on this). I suppose the byproduct of this is next years game (if England can sustain their form) will be hyped to the heavens and will genuinely be a big event.
          Even my non-Rugby mates here in England get excited about the All Blacks, especially during the Lions series this year.

        • October 14th 2017 @ 9:35pm
          Jaffamike said | October 14th 2017 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

          I personally think the All Blacks should have avoided playing England all together until the world cup when they potentially could meet in the semi-finals. I think it helps England more to play the All Blacks a year before the world cup than it does NZ, e.g if England lose, it gives them time to sort what ever the reasons were and if they win it will give them a big boost going into the world cup knowing their last game against the All Blacks they won.

          • October 14th 2017 @ 9:51pm
            Taylorman said | October 14th 2017 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

            Yes theres a lot of hoo haa about when they meet next, its suddenly special now because England are the new number one threat? Its no big deal for when they meet for me.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 2:26pm
        Jake said | October 13th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

        and their cricket side as well, and netball, cycling, swimming etc

        • October 14th 2017 @ 10:27am
          Neil Back said | October 14th 2017 @ 10:27am | ! Report

          1 out of 4 right is pretty impressive for you buddy

    • October 13th 2017 @ 11:00am
      Beezlebub said | October 13th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

      His ego is bigger than Ayres Rock, by a large distance too!

    • October 13th 2017 @ 3:47pm
      Mike Julz said | October 13th 2017 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

      I’m not really sold on this England side. Yeah they are on an upright trajectory, but I think there will always be three teams that will stand in their way of becoming the best in the world and becoming World Cup winners- NZ/AUS/RSA.
      The next 12 months will be their real testament. They have improved a lot under Eddie and with the WC still two years away, it still too early to rate them as second best. 12 months will tell.

      • October 13th 2017 @ 5:53pm
        Perthstayer said | October 13th 2017 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

        WBs are no longer part of the feared triumvirate for England.

        If anything what’s most likely to trip England up is being too cocky.

        England are are no longer on a trajectory. They’re at the top of where they could have been and have 6 BIL players returning better than they were.

        (and EJ having Cheika in palm of his hand is icing on their cake)

      • October 14th 2017 @ 10:36am
        Neil Back said | October 14th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        ‘Always’ three huh?

        Well, there’s only one team currently blocking them from ‘best in the world’ for a while now. And there’s quite a gap to third. Also for quite a while.

        Are you sure another 12 months will ‘sell’ you? I kinda doubt it.

        • October 14th 2017 @ 11:00am
          Taylorman said | October 14th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

          Not as big as the gap to second though…?

    • Roar Pro

      October 13th 2017 @ 4:00pm
      Danny said | October 13th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

      Phase 1: shoot your mouth off.
      Phase 2: repeat phase 1.

      Sorry – couldn’t resist!

    • October 13th 2017 @ 7:38pm
      RugbyNovice said | October 13th 2017 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

      I don’t think moving on from Tuilagi is going to be too much of an issue. Think he’s only played twice under Jones, both from the bench. No doubt Jones would like him fit, but he’s definitely not reliant on the big man.

      Think he could bring something to the team, but they’ve already got Joseph/Te’o/Daly/Slade for 13.

      • Roar Pro

        October 13th 2017 @ 8:09pm
        Andrew said | October 13th 2017 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

        True, but he does seem to get a lot of press whenever he makes an injury comeback, only for him to inevitably be struck down by injury once more. His antics with Solomona at the last training camp indicate that he still hasn’t matured much from his 2011 ferry jumping shenanigans either.

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