Point to prove for Eng­land

The TV Guide - - SPORTS -

Twelve months ago, this week­end’s rugby test between New Zealand and Eng­land was shap­ing up as a huge event which would de­ter­mine the best rugby team on the planet. How times have changed since then.

It will still be a big test but the All Blacks, the top team in the world, face an Eng­land side which has dropped off markedly in form and has been hit hard by in­juries. Eng­land fin­ished fifth in the Six Na­tions (in­clud­ing a rare de­feat against Scot­land) and lost 1-2 in a mid-year se­ries against South Africa.

Eng­land coach Ed­die Jones has brought for­mer All Blacks coach John Mitchell on board to help right his creaky ship. It is a gam­ble as Mitchell’s record as a top-level coach could po­litely be de­scribed as “mixed”.

How­ever, Jones is a wily cam­paigner who will have a point to prove about his team’s real ca­pa­bil­i­ties ahead of next year’s World Cup. Eng­land will be primed to pro­duce their best against their New Zealand coun­ter­parts.

Eng­land coach Ed­die Jones

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