England coach Eddie Jones completes SA inspection
England coach Eddie Jones completed his reconnaissance mission to South Africa by visiting Newlands in Cape Town on a sweltering day.
The mercury rose to 36 in the Mother City on Thursday‚ but the conditions are a far cry from what Jones’ England can expect when his side meets the Springboks at Newlands on June 23.
The Cape Town Test is the third of the series that sees the first two Tests played at altitude in Johannesburg on June 9 and Bloemfontein on June 16 before a potential decider in Cape Town.
The Golden Lions hosted Jones at Ellis Park on Monday and on Wednesday the Cheetahs welcomed the Boks’ 2007 World Cup winning technical analyst at the Free State Stadium.
Jones also stopped in Durban as part of his planning.
He is understood to be considering basing his team in Durban for the first two weeks and flying in to Johannesburg and Bloemfontein for the Tests.
The entire third week could be spent in Cape Town‚ although none of these details are official yet.
The fact that Jones‚ who has led England to 22 wins after 23 Tests at the helm‚ is in SA preparing shows how seriously England are taking this tour.
After beating Australia 3-0 in a June Test series in 2016‚ Jones will want to do the same to the other southern hemisphere giant before England’s much anticipated showdown with world champions New Zealand at Twickenham this November.
Jones stated last week that he was looking for his side to not only keep winning this season‚ but to evolve its playing style and approach with under two years to the Wold Cup in Japan.
The Springboks‚ despite being at a low ebb after 11 wins in their last 25 Tests‚ will pose some tough challenges at home.
“The game is evolving‚" Jones said.
"Defence is going to evolve over the next 24 months as sides have defended in a certain way and I think that’s going to change because of law interpretation changes‚ and we want to be at the head of that queue of how you want to defend.
“In attack‚ that will be a consequence of defence changing that you’ll need to be able to attack in a number of ways.
"Knowing the variants of environments we could find in Japan where our first two games are under a dome‚ so they’re going to be almost perfect conditions‚ and generally in those sort of conditions a kicking game is important and a running game is important‚ and that seems contradictory but it’s not.
“Then at Yokohama and Tokyo we could be playing in pouring rain and then your short game becomes important‚ and the ability to punch holes and play through them‚ so developing that adaptability and awareness of how to attack depending on the conditions is so important for us."