HIGH ON CONFIDENCE
Jones says England can play New Zealand anytime
EDDIE Jones has joked that England can play New Zealand straight after today’s Grand Slam match in Dublin. Victory at Lansdowne Road would see England, who’ve already retained the Six Nations title, set a new record of 19 successive Test wins by a ‘tier one’ or leading rugby union nation and break the mark of 18 they currently share with world champions New Zealand.
It would also see Jones’s men win the Triple Crown and become the first team in the Six Nations era to complete back-to-back Grand Slams.
But England have not played New Zealand during their winning streak and aren’t due to face the All Blacks again until 2018.
However, British media reports this week said England’s Rugby Football Union were looking at re-arranging their fixture schedule with a view to playing New Zealand at Twickenham on Nov 4 this year.
Asked about the prospect of playing New Zealand in 2017, Jones jokingly replied: “If the All Blacks want to turn up to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and want to play us after Ireland, then we’ll consider it.
“Would we win? After we’d beaten Ireland? Who knows? It would be interesting, wouldn’t it?” the Australian added.
But Jones insisted the timing of any match against the All Blacks was not his concern.
“I’ve got no view on that, I’m not an administrator. I haven’t negotiated contracts, all I’m worried about is Ireland,” he said.
“The All Blacks have got nothing to do with us. We want to be the number one team in the world. When we get the opportunity to play them, we’ll play them,” the former Australia and Japan coach added. AFP
England’s Eddie Jones kicks the ball during training at Twickenham Stadium in London recently.