England coach Eddie Jones feels his side’s preparation will give them the edge in the humid conditions expected at the Word Cup. The Red Rose are now in Japan for the upcoming tournament, with England set to kick off their campaign against Tonga in Sapporo next Saturday.
Most pundits feel that this year’s renewal is wide open, with New Zealand not as dominant as in past years and a few northern hemisphere teams coming to the boil. England are certainly one of them despite a failure to win the Six Nations and Jones has had his charges preparing in Miyazaki in the far south of the country.
Humidity has been as high as 90% since the squad arrived and that is just what the coach wanted. “We’ve prepared for it and it’s obviously a big part of rugby in Japan in September and October,” said the Australian. “We feel like playing in the humidity will give us an advantage. The players have adjusted really well.”
Jones, 59, admits that he still gets anxious ahead of big games and the World Cup and feels that the Far East showpiece is where the big players in the squad really stand out. “I’m always nervous,” he added.
“I wake up every morning thinking what bad things could happen to the team, and when I stop having that feeling it’s probably time for me to leave the game,. “Observing the players is important – who is going to cope with that different environment and who isn’t going to cope – because you see in a World Cup that players really grow or really shrink.”