Be careful, Rose that stings! A few days before the World Cup (20 September-2 November), England is ready and relies on its big machinery to go to Japan for a title that has eluded him since his coronation in 2003.
Power and speed: in four years at the head of the XV of the Rose, Eddie Jones has not reinvented English rugby, but the Australian has made a well-oiled roller-compressor … and very fast.
The annihilation of Ireland at the end of August (57-15) has, as such, brought all the confirmations that Jones needed, after several months of doubts, in the wake of a 2018 year to forget (six defeats in 12 matches) and a 2019 Six Nations Tournament in half-tone (three wins, one draw and one loss).
"It was a performance that will thrill the other contenders: speed, power, finesse, daring and inventiveness: a declaration of principles," the Telegraph said in a statement. the day after the biggest defeat ever inflicted on Clover by the Rose.
– Sizes behind the scenes –
"I have rarely seen such a good team from England," said Sir Ian McGeechan. The former coach of Scotland and four tours of the British and Irish Lions has made Maro Itoje and Manu Tuilagi the two pillars of the English campaign in Japan.
The colossal second line cuts down a colossal amount of work, in addition to being imperial in touch. The overpowered center, finally released from its wounds, settled as the cornerstone of the attack. "It was unplayable against Ireland," said McGeechan. "He is the archetype of what makes England so impressive with the ball: big guys, who run fast, straightforward and pass superbly after contact."
"It's only 80%," Jones warned. "When it's 100% ready, it'll be a big chore." For others, obviously.
Little by little, relying on captain Owen Farrell and the skeleton of the Saracens, three-time European champions in the past four years, Jones has managed to impose his requirement on a generation of physical monsters (Tuilagi, the brothers Vunipola, Cokanasiga, Itoje, Sinckler, etc.).
To refine his style of play, the small Australian, who had surprised the oval world with Japan at the World Cup-2015, also hired fellow countryman Scott Wisemantel as a consultant for the attack and went to find the former coach of the All Blacks , John Mitchell, to take care of the defense.
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Better, on the field, with "Big Joe" Cokanasiga, he found the third winger he missed so much in case of injury to Jonny May or Jack Nowell. And so much the better if the Bath player weighs 122 kg.
With his "Kamikaze Kids" Tom Curry and Sam Underhill, he found his two flankers, able to "hit anything that moves" and get the balloons out of the rucks at lightning speed.
Only downside: England has some difficulties outside Twickenham, beaten six times in nine trips since early 2018 (victories in South Africa, Italy and Ireland).
"I would like to see this kind of performance far from home," admitted Billy Vunipola after the humiliation of Ireland. "That's the most important thing for me, I told Eddie in the locker room, it's something we have to start doing away from Twickenham."
"This is our biggest challenge: to go to Japan and succeed away from all our fans and the comfort of our home dressing room," insisted the N.8, eyes turned to the first match of England in Japan. "Our most important match will be Tonga."