England and New Zealand: Eddie Jones puts his trust in Chris Ashton in an attempt to "make history"
Eddie Jones has challenged his English players to "change the history of rugby" by beating the All Blacks this weekend, and hopes that the remembered Chris Ashton will be at the forefront of this.
Ashton will make his first start from June 2014, having been promoted from the bench to replace Jack Nowell after winning his first English cap in four years last weekend.
With the thirty-one in the mix, I am immediately reminded of the famous 2012 victory over New Zealand, when Ashton scored one of three attempts by England beating the All Blacks only for the fifth time in their history, but the record shows that visitors undoubtedly held the upper hand between these two parts.
With New Zealand at the moment in a best all-time race of nine consecutive years at the top of the World Rugby standings, and England continues to lose 17 possible players due to injury and suspension, the size of the challenge ahead of the team Jones is undoubtedly the biggest they have faced since the Australian took charge. But he believes that it makes the potential even bigger prize.
"All I know is that it's a great honor to play against New Zealand and every chance to play against New Zealand is something in your rugby life that you do not want to regret," Jones said. "For our players there is a chance to change the history of English rugby.
"18% of the tests against New Zealand (at Twickenham) were won by England, 33% of our players beat New Zealand (with British and Irish Lions), so we want to leave the field on Saturday and 100% of our players beat New Zealand and we rewrite a little bit of history.
"This is the opportunity for us, so if people want to write it as an" epic battle "… one thing I know is that it has no relevance to the World Cup. The only thing I know. "
Part of the plan to make history is the role that Ashton will play. The wing is obviously part of Jones's thinking when he recognizes that England will have to risk it when it shows up on Saturday, but it has not always been this way.
Jones chose Ashton in his first team for the six nations of 2016, only for a 10-week ban to get in touch with Luke Marshall's eyes of Ulster that prevented him from performing, and when he was excluded from the summer team he refused a request to play for the Saxons of England who eventually led to the temporary end of his international career.
But after a year in France with Toulon, Ashton returned all the wisest and, if possible, an even better finisher. He scored a hat-trick against England for barbarians at the start of this year and another three attempts on his debut last month helped trigger a change of heart in the interior Jones, who hopes the widower may be the key to unlocking the Kiwi defense just as he did six years ago.
"He's a taster," said Jones of Ashton. "He played 40 odd trials for England, he has the opportunity to play an important game on Saturday, he's not really trained, guys like that, the only thing you can do is to fill them up by educating them. give them a free hand, give them a framework to operate, make them feel good about themselves, make sure they have a smile on their face and go.
"The thing is, if he did not get so much trouble, he would have already played some tests, he's always sick, and there are problems everywhere, there's Ashton, how many times have we been unable to catch him because he's been suspended? You may have an agreement with a lawyer who gets paid extra if the lawyer gets extra work.
"He is a good player and has been for a long time."
The reference to Saturday's test and its relevance for the Rugby World Cup in Japan next year is interesting as the chance to defeat both Australia and New Zealand is considered one of the key reasons for the British triumph of the 2003. Obviously it was a foreign land, which gave Sir Clive Woodward the reputation of being the best side of the planet before the global gathering in Australia, and it must be said that the part of Jones is still far from being close to that reputation.
But in Owen Farrell, Jones has at least a talismanic figure by Jonny Wilkinson who can inspire those around him to lead the example and, as he demonstrated last Saturday, provide winning moments – both offensively and defensively, such as the reluctant on the shoulder Andre Esterhuizen has shown.
But it is precisely this reputation that leaves Farrell in these games at the breaking point, with Jones evidently miserable for the number of delayed tackles to which his half fly is exposed, stating that if his reputation was something similar to his companion of Johnny Lions team of Sexton, would be protected.
"If it were Johnny Sexton, then we would be able to complain about him, but because it is Owen Farrell who is allowed to be hit late," said Jones, "he is allowed to be bitten, it's hard so he gets up and plays It will be like this week.
"We run it every week, it's a hard cock, it takes the ball to the line, puts its body on the line, does not play in an evening dress, gets hit, gets up and plays and keeps doing it.
"I think that players like him never have 100% of reason, they come on the pitch, they play and they give you everything they have and he is like that."
Jones tried to fight last year, leaving Farrell out of the internationals against Argentina and Samoa, but this is the competitive strip that crosses the Saracen sector, it is difficult to happen when such important matches are on the horizon.
The probability is that Farrell will rest from the next week of Quilter International against Japan with George Ford, given the number 10 of the jersey, but it is not a conversation that Jones is enjoying.
"He is a warrior.Imagine going in there and saying, "You're not playing this week." He wants to play every week. If we play marbles on Wednesdays, he wants to play. It is a competitor. You can not put boys like him in cotton wool: they want to play. They want to play for their country. They want to make their country great ".
This would eventually be achieved by winning the World Cup, and begins with the attempt to find a way to defeat the All Blacks. Farrell knows what it feels like in a national jersey along with Ashton, Ben Youngs, Courtney Lawes and Danny Care, while Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Ben Te & # 39; o, Jamie George and Jack Nowell joined him with the Lions. But if they can satisfy Jones' desire to have 100% of the team knowing exactly what it feels like, the grand plan to win the best team in the world at next year's World Cup could simply start to march.
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