Jones rouses England for South Africa with bitter final memories lingering


The England head coach wants his team to deliver a statement victory over the world champions in their grudge match

Retaining the Cook Cup is all fine and dandy but what England would really love this week is to settle some old scores. Bitter memories of the 2019 Rugby World Cup final, with a further dash of frustration still lingering from last summer’s British & Irish Lions tour, are already lending their final fixture of 2021 an extra edge and South Africa’s visit to Twickenham feels like a genuine grudge match.

Satisfying as it is to beat his native Australia for the eighth time in a row, Eddie Jones is keenly aware a stiffer challenge now looms. The Springboks’ characteristically effective 30-15 win over Scotland was another reminder of how tough it remains to knock over the world champions, which is perhaps why Jones reached for a favourite boxing analogy on Saturday night in the wake of England’s similar 32-15 margin of victory.

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Written by Robert Kitson
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