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Eddie Jones: England captain Chris Robshaw will be found out against Australia

Published 01/10/2015

Eddie Jones believes Chris Robshaw, pictured, faces a tough test against Australia
Eddie Jones believes Chris Robshaw, pictured, faces a tough test against Australia

Japan coach Eddie Jones expects Australia to have a huge advantage at the breakdown in their crunch World Cup clash with England, tipping Michael Hooper and David Pocock to dominate Chris Robshaw.

The 55-year-old Australian, who was in charge of the Wallabies when they lost to England in the 2003 World Cup final, believes his native country's propensity for turnovers will be too much for Stuart Lancaster's side to handle.

"The breakdown will be a key area of the game on Saturday and Australia can dominate there because England simply don't have the specialist skills to compete with them," Jones wrote in the Daily Mail.

"David Pocock is an out-and-out 'fetcher'. At the moment, there is no-one in the world better than him over the ball. Stuart Lancaster doesn't have that sort of fetcher in his team."

He added: "Australia will have two opensides in their back row, so they are expected to dominate the ruck contest and I can't see it going any other way with the teams that are going to be selected. Ben Morgan and Tom Wood don't play over the ball, and Robshaw only half does it, so it looks like an uphill battle for England."

Hosts England have no room for manoeuvre after last week's defeat to Wales, with only a victory against Australia enough to keep alive hopes of progressing from Pool A.

But Jones believes Australia have the tools to send England crashing out of their own tournament by taking advantage of deficiencies he sees in skipper Robshaw's game.

"To me, Robshaw is an outstanding club player, but at international level he just doesn't have that point of difference," he added.

"He carries okay, he tackles okay, but he's not outstandingly good in any area. I think that is his limiting factor. He's a good workmanlike player, but he does not have the specialist skills and the instinct as an openside that Pocock has."

Jones, who masterminded the biggest shock in the tournament's history against South Africa 12 days ago, also suggested that Toulon openside Steffon Armitage could have helped to redress the balance had he been selected.

"Steffon Armitage is pretty hard and handy over the ball and would definitely bring that quality to the England side," he said. "I reckon needing a specialist openside at a World Cup should count as an exceptional circumstance, to allow Lancaster to pick him."

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