Eddie Jones' low blow to All Blacks as he says he's 'very keen' for November showdown
Eddie Jones is "very keen" to play the All Blacks in November and has taken a low shot at New Zealand's 2011 World Cup triumph as he tries to put his team's Six Nations loss to Ireland into perspective.
The England union are looking at hosting the All Blacks at Twickenham on November 4 in a revenue-sharing test featuring the world's top two ranked sides. It would be the start of England's autumn schedule and place heat on Jones to have his team ready.
But he is up for that challenge.
"We are very keen to play that game and if it comes across we will be well prepared. We don't have any excuses," Jones said in a Times article on Tuesday (NZ time).
Australian Jones has been eager to move on from England's shock 13-9 loss to Ireland in Dublin last Sunday where they missed the chance to claim the the world record of consecutive tier one test wins from the All Blacks.
And, forever using the All Blacks as his measuring stick, he was quick to point to New Zealand's struggles in the past before they entered their remarkable period of dominance that has seen them win the last two World Cups.
Jones said the All Blacks "had to have a very kind referee to get them home" in the 2011 final against France at Eden Park.
The All Blacks survived 8-7 in the title match with French complaints about South African referee Craig Joubert. After the match France halfback Dimitri Yachvili said: "The referee was under a lot of pressure. He did not want us to win."
Jones is adamant England can be better for the Dublin disaster and won't be scarred as they build towards the 2019 World Cup in Japan, suggesting the All Blacks had endured bigger problems in the past
"It's great for us. It's not great to lose, but it's a great learning experience. There's no scar there at all. You guys know the history of rugby. You know what the All Blacks had to go through to win the World Cup in 2011," Jones said in the Times.
"They lost the semifinal against Australia in 2003 and they lost the quarterfinal in 2007. They got to the final in 2011 and they had to have a very kind referee to get them home. That's how hard it is for them to win. So to lose the Grand Slam game when we've already got the trophy is hardly a scar, it's a learning experience.
"It's a game, it's a game of rugby. We lost, we'll move on, we'll get better, we'll learn.
"One game doesn't change our plan. We've got a plan in place. I know what we've got to do to be at our best for the World Cup. One game doesn't affect our perception of people, or the team."
Jones, always looking for positives, offered his team a new challenge after they missed out on winning historic consecutive Grand Slams in the northern hemisphere's premier six-country tournament.
"The great thing for us is we've won back-to-back Six Nations," Jones said.
"If you look through the record of Five to Six Nations, no one has outright won three in a row so we are in a position where we can still create a record in the Six Nations."