Eddie Jones sets ‘greatest team ever’ target for England
England head coach Eddie Jones is determined to make his squad the “greatest team that ever played” as they prepare for the Six Nations.
On the back of an impressive Rugby World Cup campaign, Jones believes the shrewdest way to get the best from his players is to demand they leave a permanent impression on the game that extends beyond winning silverware.
England lost out 32-12 to South Africa in the final of Japan 2019 last November in a disappointing conclusion to an otherwise superb tournament that reached its peak with their semi-final demolition of New Zealand.
Jones, who is contracted at Twickenham until 2021, wants to see the All Blacks rout repeated on a consistent basis.
“We want to be remembered as the greatest team that ever played rugby. It’s not that scientific, but who are the great teams you remember?” Jones said.
“For me, I remember the great All Black teams and the great Australia team of the ’90s. That’s what we want to be remembered as – a great team that has sustainable success.
“We have touched it. We played a great game against the All Blacks but we’ve only done that one. When you’ve been in that area, you want to do it sustainably.
“We want to challenge ourselves to be how good we can be.
“I can remember two knock-out games at the World Cup where we played great rugby. Imagine if a team does that 80 percent of the time.
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“To be remembered as the greatest, it helps if you’ve won a World Cup. You look at the great rugby the New Zealand side of 1995 played, they played unbelievable rugby. But they’re not remembered as great as they didn’t win the World Cup.
“I don’t think it’s marked by Grand Slams. I think you can win Grand Slams without playing great rugby, as you can win a World Cup without playing great rugby.
“I am talking about playing sustainable rugby that people remember. How exciting is that?”