YOKOHAMA. – England coach Eddie Jones heads into a Rugby World Cup semi-final against New Zealand today taking inspiration from legendary football manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Kick-off is at 10am Zimbabwean time.
Today’s fixture in Yokohama will be the key fixture of Jones’s four-year reign, with the veteran Australian making no secret of his desire to lead England to World Cup glory. But they face the toughest challenge possible this weekend, with reigning champions New Zealand having not lost a World Cup match since a 2007 quarter-final defeat by France.
England have won just seven out of 41 Tests against New Zealand, with their last victory back in 2012.
However, in their only previous match against the All Blacks under Jones, in November last year, England pushed them close before losing 16-15.
When Ferguson took over as manager of Manchester United in 1986 he said he wanted to knock Liverpool, then the dominant side in the English game, “off their perch”. Ferguson’s trophy-laden reign at Old Trafford was proof of how he lived up to his words, and Jones said he now wants England to follow suit. “That’s what we’ve got the opportunity to do. When you’ve been involved in rugby the country you want to knock off is New Zealand because they’ve been the best,” Jones said. – AFP