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Jones demands full focus on final and insists England have achieved nothing yet

England will face South Africa in the final on Saturday.

Eddie Jones is demanding full focus on the final (Ashley Western/PA)
Eddie Jones is demanding full focus on the final (Ashley Western/PA)

By Duncan Bech, PA England Rugby Correspondent, Yokohama

Eddie Jones will prevent England from basking in the glory of their breathtaking World Cup victory over New Zealand in order to sharpen minds on the only prize that really matters.

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South Africa edged Wales 19-16 in a grim second semi-final at International Stadium Yokohama to set-up a repeat of the 2007 global showpiece that was won 15-6 by the Springboks.

Jones was present in the stands alongside defence coach John Mitchell to watch the Springboks outmuscle Warren Gatland’s men with a conservative gameplan based on forward power.

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Jones is convinced England have the game to go all the way at the World Cup (Adam Davy/PA)

England have surged to the summit of the global rankings at the All Blacks’ expense and Jones insists they have the higher gear needed to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy for a second time.

When asked about his noticeable lack of jubilation at having masterminded possibly the greatest victory in Red Rose history, Jones said: “It’s because we’ve got another week to go.

“We want to be the best in the world and we’re not. So we’re not going to be satisfied until we’re the best in the world.

“It’s about making sure no-one gets too far ahead of themselves and this team has got no reason to, because we haven’t achieved what we want to achieve. All it’s done is give us another week in the comp.

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Eddie Jones did not over celebrate England’s win (David Davies/PA)

“It’s a mind-set, it’s the attitude of the players, the messaging the staff gives the players and the messaging the leadership gives the players.

“We’re going to have to find another level and it’s definitely there. Definitely there. Definitely there. It was a good performance but we’ve got to play better next week.”

Wales coach Warren Gatland questioned whether England might have played their final a game early by flattening New Zealand after their own quest to be crowned champions was ended by the Springboks.

“We have seen in previous World Cups that teams sometimes play their final in semi-finals and don’t always turn up for a final,” Gatland said.

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Gatland questioned whether England may have already played their final (David Davies/PA)

“So it will be interesting to see how England are next week and it could be a good game.”

It was an ugly spectacle that ended Wales’ pursuit of a first world title and Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus promised more of the same against England.

“We’ve given ourselves a chance. We’ve played four games with England in the last 18 months and it’s 2-2,” Erasmus said.

“Obviously they’re a lot better than when we last played them and we saw that in the way they dismantled New Zealand.

We're going to have to find another level and it's definitely there. Definitely there. Definitely there. It was a good performance but we've got to play better next week Eddie Jones

“I’m not 100 per cent sure that the World Cup final will be won by a very expansive style and wonderful tries – it might be, I might be wrong – but I think we’ll go and try and grind it out.”

Jones will have seen the way Damian de Allende helped dismantle Wales with his strong running at inside centre and could reconsider his midfield axis.

George Ford was outstanding at fly-half against New Zealand but in the quarter-final he made way for Henry Slade in order to sure up the defence knowing the onslaught that was coming from Samu Kerevi.

De Allende’s presence might have a similar impact on selection even though Ford and Owen Farrell were among the highest tacklers in Yokohama on Saturday.

“Yeah they (Ford and Farrell) defended well against New Zealand but next week is another situation,” Jones said.

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Farrell and Ford may be split up for the final (Adam Davy/PA)

“We’ll look at how we need to play and what the opposition are going to bring to the party and then we’ll decide on selection.

“The players are at the end of seven weeks so recovery is so important – physical and mental. The mind-set you create during the week is very important.

“And it’s about not inventing shadows. Everywhere you look, there are shadows, so you have to make sure you are looking at the right shadows.”

England will learn on Monday if they are to be fined by World Rugby for encroaching beyond the halfway line when confronting the Haka with a V shape formation.

PA

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