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Eddie Jones hopes three-Test Australia tour helps turn England into best team

Eddie Jones has admitted he will be a failure if he cannot turn England into the best team in world rugby.

The England head coach cites the three-Test summer tour to Australia as the next step on that quest, with glory at World Cup 2019 in Japan the ultimate prize.

Australian Jones expects a feisty reception from his compatriots, and will order England to target Wallabies stars Israel Folau, David Pocock and Michael Hooper, and legally "take them out of the game".

Jones hailed Worcester-bound centre Ben Te'o as a "demi-god" in Australia, backing the rugby league convert to succeed where Sam Burgess failed in crossing codes to union.

Asked if he would consider his tenure a failure if he does not take England to number one in the world rankings, Jones replied: "Oh 100 per cent. The reason the RFU appointed me is to change the England national team.

"And the resources and the number of players we have here, demands that England should be number one in the world.

"If I look at England and what we have, there's no reason we shouldn't be number one in the world and that's what we're working towards.

"It's all set up for England to do well in Japan (at World Cup 2019).

"It would be great for us to be on the second of November in 2019 at the Yokohama Stadium in the World Cup final, and that's where we're aiming to be."

While tipping Leinster's departing centre Te'o to challenge for England honours, Jones also insisted Ospreys flanker Sam Underhill would receive a senior call-up "in the next six months".

Highly-rated former Gloucester flanker Underhill has pledged his future to England, rejecting the chance to qualify for Wales on residency grounds.

Jones' pledge suggests the 19-year-old will be primed for England elevation in time for November's autumn Tests.

That would need either the RFU for the first time to invoke their "exceptional circumstances" clause to by-pass the policy of not selecting players based outside of England - or for Underhill to sign for a Premiership club this summer.

"He's been playing very well for Ospreys," Jones told Sky Sports News.

"We've still got the situation where he plays outside of England, and we've got to sort that situation out.

"I think we're coming to a resolution and there's no doubt he'll be selected in the England squad in the next six months.

"Ben Te'o's definitely a possibility. You speak to people in Australia and they talk of him as a demi-god, so those sorts of players if they have the right attitude can come across to rugby and have an immediate impact.

"And he's one of those guys that could do that.

"I think Sam (Burgess) was in a difficult situation where he was playing two positions.

"If Sam came across to union again and he was put in the situation where he specialised in one position, I'm sure the outcome would be very different."


From Belfast Telegraph