Jones lays down England challenge after Tonga thrashing

By Sports Desk November 06, 2021

Eddie Jones challenged his ruthless England side to become the best team on the planet after they brushed aside Tonga at Twickenham.

England ran in 11 tries as they thumped the Pacific islanders by 69-3 despite the absence of captain Owen Farrell who missed the Test after a positive Covid-19 test.

Jamie George, Jonny May and Ben Youngs claimed two tries apiece while Adam Radwan, Maro Itoje, Marcus Smith, Jamie Blamire and Alex Mitchell also crossed the line.

Tonga played the final 10 minutes a man down after replacement Viliami Fine was shown a red following an elbow to Smith's head.

England have now won 16 of their last 17 Autumn Internationals (excluding the Rugby World Cup and warm-ups), a run dating back to 2014, with New Zealand (2018) the only side to beat them in that time.

Head coach Jones acknowledged there will be much sterner opponents to come – starting with Australia next weekend – but urged his England players to target the summit of world rugby.

"It is a project, we are two years from the World Cup and by the time we get to the World Cup we want to be the best team in the world," he told Amazon Prime.

"It is not what you see, it is how much we improve: this week, and then onto next week and the week after.

"We can only play against the opposition that show. I think we left four tries out there, but I liked the attitude in the second half. 

"In a game like that the crowd can go off for more pints and do a Mexican wave, we managed to keep the energy up and stopped it [the wave] about halfway round the stadium today."

England will face the Wallabies before they round off the Autumn Internationals against world champions South Africa.

Courtney Lawes captained the side in place of Farrell and the forward claimed his team-mates are already as good as any side in the world on their day – although there are still aspects to their game to improve on.

He added: "There is a little bit to work on but it is great to be back with the fans. It was nice to get a few points at the end at bring some entertainment.

"It is going to be a great game [against Australia] I believe we can go toe to toe with anyone, we have a bit to learn but I am looking forward very much to next week."

Related items

  • McCullum delighted with England start, calls for more of the same against India McCullum delighted with England start, calls for more of the same against India

    Brendon McCullum said England's performance across their series whitewash of New Zealand will have set "alarm bells" ringing throughout Test cricket, as he called for a similar approach against India on Friday.

    With McCullum and Ben Stokes in place as the new red-ball coach-captain partnership, England recorded a 3-0 series win, with each triumph including chases of more than 250 runs, a first for a team in a single Test series.

    After winning just one of their previous 17 Tests, it represented an incredible turnaround for England, who do not have long to wait until their next outing.

    With the rescheduled Test against India due to start on Friday at Edgbaston, McCullum is hoping to see England's positive approach replicated.

    "It'll be quite good fun to look at a new opponent," said McCullum, as reported by ESPNcricinfo. "The world Test champions were a formidable opponent to overcome, and the alarm bells have probably gone off somewhat around world cricket as to how this team is going to play. 

    "We need to make sure against a different opposition we're well researched, well planned, well prepared, and try and roll out a similar kind of performance."

    McCullum called for England to push their daring style to new limits against India, who are 2-1 up in a series originally scheduled to conclude last September.

    "I hope we take it too far because then we'll know exactly where that line is. Until you do that, you're not really sure," he added.

    "We've seen it with the England white-ball stuff – there have been times where they've probably pushed too hard, and then they know. 

    "I think it'll be the same with us, and we've got to keep exploring what that line is.

    "It's not just about batting either. If you look at how we've fielded and how we've bowled as well, some of the field placements that the skipper's had in place and the mentality the guys have had, is constantly to try and chase wickets."

    'Bazball' – the term given to England's entertaining style under McCullum – has won universal praise, but the head coach says he was fortunate to take on his new role when a clear desire for change existed.

    "Timing is important – you have got to be ready for change," McCullum said. "I think taking over this job when the skipper and I have, there was a thirst for change. 

    "When your results haven't been good, people are more receptive to change.

    "The freshness of some of the ideas, the approach, stripping out some of the noise, but [also] getting guys to play the game for the game's sake. 

    "The skipper has taken them on a journey, I've tried to fill in the gaps where needed, and they've got instant gratification for that change. It doesn't always happen. But that's why those guys are so keen on this style."

  • Vaughan backs Buttler to take over England white-ball captaincy and open in Tests Vaughan backs Buttler to take over England white-ball captaincy and open in Tests

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan believes Jos Buttler is the ideal candidate to replace Eoin Morgan as white-ball skipper.

    Morgan is expected to step down as captain on Tuesday, with a news conference at Lord's having been arranged.

    It is thought Buttler, the vice-captain, will replace Morgan, who has been in charge since 2014. He has led England to World Cup glory, as well as the T20 World Cup final.

    The Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum red-ball tenure started with a 3-0 series win over New Zealand, but while new white-ball coach Matthew Mott saw his team claim an easy series victory in the Netherlands earlier in June, Morgan is now set to quit his post and retire from international cricket, having passed 50 just once in his last eight ODI outings.

    Vaughan believes England will forever be indebted to Morgan, writing in The Telegraph: "There have been many Test captains who have made an impact on the history of English cricket during their time in charge, but there has only been one white-ball captain that has done so – Eoin Morgan.

    "The freedom and fearless approach that he's given this white-ball team is going to be with England forever. He's going to be remembered forever and can now sit back and be very proud of what he's achieved as an individual leader. 

    "English cricket is in an exciting place – you've got this white-ball group of players that is so deep and so full of power, and the question is how many are going to be left out that should be in the side. And a lot of that is down to what Morgan has put in place."

     

    And Vaughan feels Buttler, fresh off some wonderful displays against the Netherlands and in the Indian Premier League, is the perfect replacement.

    "For me it's a no-brainer that Jos Buttler takes over that role. He's the best white-ball player in the world, he's got a very smart cricket brain, and he's got that calmness you need," Vaughan wrote.

    "I guess his personality might be different from Eoin. The one thing that Jos will have to be very, very good at is staying the same when he doesn't have a good game or two. That has been Eoin's massive strength – he has never changed and even last week in Holland after getting two noughts, I bet he was still the same person in the dressing room."

    Vaughan also believes Buttler could provide the solution to a major weakness in England's Test side.

    "That might not be all Jos could do for England, though. Kumar Sangakkara said something this week, which I thought was ridiculous the first 10 minutes I thought about it: Buttler should be England's Test match opener," Vaughan continued.

    "And then it hit me that with this Test match team and the way that they're playing: this might be an idea worth exploring. England have this fearless, aggressive nature. If something as radical Buttler as Test opener was ever going to work it would be now, under this management group of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.

    "I wouldn't say it's a sensible option – because it's not sensible. But I don't think some of the decisions that this Test match team are going to be making are going to be sensible.

    "What's the most aggressive, radical thing that we could think of? Let's go. Jos opening in Test cricket is quite radical. Just go for it."

    Buttler has not featured for England in a Test since the 2021-22 Ashes in Australia, where he failed to impress with the bat, top-scoring with a 39 in Brisbane.

  • Spain lose appeal against disqualification from 2023 Rugby World Cup Spain lose appeal against disqualification from 2023 Rugby World Cup

    Spain's appeal over their disqualification from the 2023 Rugby World Cup has been dismissed, with Romania taking their place in next year's tournament.

    Los Leones booked a place in the competition for the first time in 24 years in March through the Rugby Europe Championship.

    However, World Rugby announced in April that Spain had been booted out of the competition after being found to have fielded an ineligible player in two preliminary matches.

    South African Gavin Van den Berg played twice for Spain, but his eligibility was questioned by rivals Romania, with World Rugby deciding he did not fit the criteria.

    To qualify on residency rules, players involved in qualifying needed to have lived in their chosen country for 36 consecutive months.

    The Spanish Rugby Federation (FER) pinned the blame on an alleged forgery of Van den Berg's passport, and they submitted new evidence to help support their appeal.

    However, it was ruled inadmissible because the FER "had not adequately explained" why the evidence had not been made available prior to the first hearing.

    World Rugby therefore upheld the previous decision and added that Spain – who also suffered a points deduction for fielding an ineligible player in their failed 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign – had no further right to appeal.

    Romania will replace Spain in Pool B, which also contains Ireland, Scotland, reigning world champions South Africa and either an Asian or Pacific qualifier.

    Portugal will take Romania's place in the Final Qualification Tournament in November 2022, with the competition itself scheduled to begin in France on September 8 next year.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.