All Blacks can eas­ily pun­ish us – Ge­orge

Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Rugby - DUN­CAN BECH Rugby writer

JAMIE Ge­orge in­sists Eng­land are braced to face New Zea­land at their most dev­as­tat­ing af­ter be­ing served no­tice of what to­day’s Twick­en­ham show­down means to the world cham­pi­ons.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has billed the clash as big­ger than last year’s se­ries against the British & Ir­ish Lions, which fin­ished in a 1-1 stale­mate af­ter three grip­ping Tests.

“It makes us aware of where their heads are at for the game. The way they’ve spo­ken this week is ex­cit­ing and we’re ready to rip into it,” Sara­cens hooker Ge­orge said.

The ri­vals meet for the first time since 2014 with New Zea­land over­whelm­ing favourites to land a psy­cho­log­i­cal blow ahead of the 2019 World Cup and Eng­land are ea­ger to dis­cover their place in the global hi­er­ar­chy.

“We’ve been think­ing about this game for a lit­tle while. When Ed­die first came in he said we want to be the best team in the world and New Zea­land are that at the mo­ment,” Ge­orge said. “We want to mea­sure our­selves against those guys and see how far away we are.”

Five of Ed­die Jones’ start­ing XV have ex­pe­ri­enced vic­tory over New Zea­land, the most re­cent win com­ing on a Lions tour which pro­duced a memorable tri­umph in Welling­ton in the sec­ond Test.

“That day is prob­a­bly the best feel­ing of my rugby ca­reer so far and hope­fully we can re­peat that,” said Ge­orge, who was the first choice hooker through­out the se­ries.

“Half of us have beaten the All Blacks be­fore and we’ve drawn on those ex­pe­ri­ences this week. We’ve spo­ken about what we need to do to beat them and what worked pre­vi­ously. That will be very valu­able for us. We’ve fo­cused on why we won those games.

“If you’re slightly off against the All Blacks they’ll take ad­van­tage. They want to do things on their terms the whole time. We have to put our stamp on the game. When I’ve played in teams that did that pre­vi­ously we’ve been suc­cess­ful.”

Eng­land en­ter the clash armed with pos­si­bly the game’s dead­li­est fin­isher af­ter Chris Ash­ton was given his first in­ter­na­tional start for four years, dis­plac­ing Jack Now­ell from the right wing.

His re­turn to the team was has­tened by a call made to Jones last year by at­tack coach Scott Wise­man­tel, who was work­ing as an as­sis­tant at Mont­pel­lier be­fore join­ing Eng­land’s back room staff.

Ash­ton was play­ing for Toulon and while in the process of set­ting a new try-scor­ing record for the Top 14, Wise­man­tel raved about his stel­lar form to Jones.

He re­vealed: “I said to Ed­die, have you have seen Ash­ton play? He’s on fire! And Ed­die goes ‘yeah mate’. It wasn’t a long con­ver­sa­tion, it was just one of those ones where you go ‘let’s put this bloke on the radar’.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.