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England coach Eddie Jones: Three big wins is great dress rehearsal for World Cup

Published 20/06/2016

Eddie Jones says the England squad is in
Eddie Jones says the England squad is in "surprisingly good" health

Eddie Jones views England's pursuit of a series whitewash over Australia as ideal preparation for their challenge at the next World Cup.

Victories in Brisbane and Melbourne have established an unassailable 2-0 lead heading into Saturday's final Test at Sydney's Allianz Stadium, and the Grand Slam champions have climbed to second in the world rankings.

Jones' ultimate aim is to snatch New Zealand's crown at Japan 2019 and his message to his players has been to approach the climax to the series as one last challenge for the Webb Ellis Cup.

"For us, this third Test is something like a World Cup final," head coach Jones said.

"To win a World Cup you have to win three big games in a row - the quarter-final, semi-final and then the final. It's a great dress rehearsal for us."

A 23-7 victory at AAMI Park has given England a maiden series triumph over one of the southern-hemisphere heavyweights, but it is toppling the All Blacks that really excites Jones.

"It's good for world rugby that England are strong," said Jones, who confirmed that the next meeting with the world champions will be in November 2018.

"New Zealand have been up there all the time and it's about time someone put a real challenge on them and we are going to be the side that do that.

"We have massive areas we need to improve - the consistency of our line-out, the breakdown and we need to develop our attack.

"We can do that over the next three years to take us on the road we want to go. There isn't a schedule. If I lose two in a row, then people will be calling for my head."

Jones believes his players are adopting the right mindset to ensure there is no dip in hunger knowing the series is already won.

"We're gradually developing a more player-led environment and (captain) Dylan Hartley has been leading the way making sure the attitude is right," Jones said.

"He had to pick out one player on Sunday who was two minutes late for something, so those sort of small discipline actions are being led by the players, which is the right thing to do.

"Whenever you win, those small things count the most. You allow those to drop off and then the big things drop off. We're very conscious of making sure the complacency doesn't kick in.

"Dylan is owning the team and that is how we want it. We want a dual management system where the players manage the team and there are also the coaches - but the players are most important.

"Attitude is key. You look back at the third Lions Test in 2013 (41-16 win over Australia in Sydney) and you can see the attitude of the two teams was pretty evident.

"The Lions smash over, score a try and if you put a barometer of where the teams' attitudes were, it was clear one team was on it and the other wasn't."

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