Published: 11:02 | 21/10/19

Jones ready for All Blacks challenge


England head coach Eddie Jones says he is ready for the All Blacks challenge as the two teams prepare to meet in the World Cup semi-final in Yokohama on Saturday.

With an 86% win percentage since their World Cup triumph in 2015, Jones believes that the All Blacks are the most dominant team in the history of sport.

However, he insists that his side are ready for the challenge and are confident of springing a surprise on the day.

"We have a challenge this week because we are playing the greatest team that has ever been in sport," he said.

"If you look at their record I don't think there's a team that comes close to them for sustainability. Since the last World Cup they've won a high percentage of their tests.

"Name me another team in the world that plays at the absolute top level that wins so many of their games.

"They are playing in the toughest competition in the world against the best all the time. I just admire them. To do what they do from a small country is incredible.

"It's an example of what you can do. People are raving about Japan at the moment and it's fantastic, but you look at what New Zealand have done with four million people.

"You have to admire them, but then the challenge is to beat them and the reason I took this job is because I saw a team that could be great. That was the challenge and they are starting to believe it.

"New Zealand are a great team with a great coach and a great captain, but like any team they are beatable and there are ways to beat them. We know that with a World Cup semi-final the whole sporting world is looking on."

Jones admitted that his side face a tough challenge against the All Blacks as they try to reach their first final since 2007. However, he is confident that they have what it takes to stop New Zealand winning their third Webb Ellis trophy in succession.

"We are in a World Cup in a neutral country, referees, crowd, atmosphere and the teams that adapt are the ones making it to the end of the competition," he added.

"You always want to play the best and New Zealand are the best - no one can dispute that. If you want to be the best in the world, you have to beat the best.

"Now talent doesn't matter - it's all about how strong the team is. When you get to this stage of the tournament, it's about how strong the team is.

"We're a strong team and we're getting stronger all the time. We're believing in each other, we believe in the way we play. We're playing to our strengths.

"Look at the second-half score against Australia - it was 23-7. That doesn't come from blowing magic dust, it comes from working hard."

Image: Getty

***Watch England v New Zealand in the RWC semi-final this Saturday on eir sport 1 from 8am.

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