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England coach Eddie Jones' spying claims grows more flimsy

Author
Liam Napier, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 23 Oct 2019, 7:24PM
Eddie Jones made the bold claim yesterday. (Photo / Photosport)
Eddie Jones made the bold claim yesterday. (Photo / Photosport)

England coach Eddie Jones' spying claims grows more flimsy

Author
Liam Napier, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 23 Oct 2019, 7:24PM

For a team embroiled in an apparent spying scandal, England are rather relaxed about its potential consequences.

One day on from Eddie Jones dropping the bombshell suggestion that England had been spied on at their Tuesday training session, and his assertion grew more flimsy with each passing probe.

First England forwards coach Steve Borthwick said they had no intention of altering lineout calls that may have been captured by the apparent filming from the 13 floor apartment building overlooking the training venue.

Borthwick was then asked whether England had investigated the spying to try identify who, if anyone, it was and what exactly transpired.

He simply replied: "No."

This response comes after England did not bother to send their security personnel to check on the incident in the first place.

A series of players, speaking at England's Tokyo hotel, then effectively laughed off Jones' claims, adding to the underlining theme that Tuesday's press conference performance was nothing more than a pantomime in which he played the flamboyant main character.

Asked what he thought of Jones sounding off yesterday, England halfback Ben Youngs said: "It's Eddie. I watched it back and enjoyed it to be fair. From us players' point of view we just concentrate on those bits and let Eddie do his thing."

England flanker Sam Underhill held a similar view.

"It was good," Underhill said. "I thought it was pretty funny but to the point."

Among the other claims Jones trotted out were that England had no pressure on them to beat the All Blacks in their semifinal because no one gave them a chance.

The reality is quite removed yet Jones is, clearly, not restricted by the bounds of truth.

The wider scope of his outburst is probably designed to distract the All Blacks in some way and, perhaps more importantly, create a form of siege mentality for England.

Underhill did, however, offer insight into the spinoffs Jones can have on his men.

Of particular interest is Underhill's comments about lessening the load on their shoulders by consuming all the public attention.

Such a tactic makes sense ahead of the most important match in four years.

"His coaching style makes things pretty easy. He makes the big things small and the small things big," Underhill said. "He makes things as straightforward as they can be and for a coach that's brilliant. He gives you simple things to think about he doesn't make it more complicated than it needs to be. It means you can free yourself up on the pitch and really enjoy yourself.

"I don't think you can artificially create belief it's something that's for us now it's an accumulation. We've been away now for 100 and something days with all the pre-World Cup games and camps so all that work together, understanding each other, knowing what each other is capable of, is where that belief comes from."

 

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