England boss Eddie Jones plans to borrow some ideas from Great Britain’s successful Olympians as he sets his sights on leading his team to the top of the world rankings.
Jones and his coaching staff is spending time with their British counterparts
in hockey, judo and cycling over the coming weeks in order to learn from the methods that helped underpin the gold rush at Rio 2016.
Team GB finished second in the table after winning a record 67 medals, while England have secured a Grand Slam crown and completed a 3-0 series whitewash of Australia since Jones took charge last December
However, the 56-year-old Australian believes that to overhaul New Zealand as world number one they must improve further.
“We’ve got to get better. We haven’t done anything yet, we’re not number one in the world, so we still have a lot to aspire to,” Jones said yesterday. “We’ve been working really hard with our coaching staff on how we can coach better because we didn’t coach well enough on tour.
“We need to coach better so our coaching staff has been working very hard investigating other sports. With Great Britain doing so well at the Olympics, there are a number of sports to look at and learn from. People have come in and talked to the staff.
“We’ve got Danny Kerry coming in in a week or so. Look at what he’s done with his hockey side. If you look on face value at the talent in that team compared to the Holland team, it’s probably not as great....so his ability to create such a dynamic and hard working team is fascinating, so we’ll learn a lot from him.
“We’re going to visit judo in a couple of weeks. We’ve had conversations with the cycling. Our motivation is just to get better. We want to be the number one team in the world. New Zealand are head of the pack at the moment but they’re beatable, they have flaws in their game.”
All Blacks wary of wounded Springboks, says Kaino
Flanker Jerome Kaino has said the All Blacks would never take South Africa lightly and are expecting a tight test match when the traditional southern hemisphere heavyweights meet in the Rugby Championship this weekend.
While the world champions go into Saturday’s match in Christchurch with three wins from three, South Africa are in disarray after following their opening win over Argentina with a loss to the Pumas and then a struggling Australia side.
Blindside Kaino, however, said Argentina had put enough pressure on New Zealand in last weekend’s test in Hamilton to encourage any side, let alone one of the pedigree of the Springboks.
“We know that every time the All Blacks play the Springboks it’s always been tight. They’ll want to bounce back and they want to get a win so we’ll be preparing as we always do and we’ll be expecting something tight,” he told reporters in Christchurch yesterday.
“We got that at the weekend and they’ll have definitely learned a lot from what happened in our game on Saturday so we’re not going to be complacent at all. Argentina put us under a lot of pressure and they’ll have put that under the microscope and they’ll try and put that into practice this weekend.”
Although New Zealand ultimately ran out 57-22 winners last weekend, the Pumas had them on the ropes for the first 50 minutes with a hugely physical forward effort allied to some penetrating running out wide.
Kaino said the All Blacks had analysed where they had come under pressure from Argentina and, among other things, were determined to offer scrumhalf Aaron Smith quicker ball against the Springboks.
“That was one of the areas that we focused on, our physicality in our tackle but also our clean out,” he said. “We pride ourselves on quick ball and for Aaron to have an easy night and in that first half we didn’t do that. As a pack, we took that personally and that’s one massive area we want to improve on this week.”
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