England Media Access
England Media Access

‘Someone is going to die’

Eddie Jones has questioned the selection of Wallabies rookie Jordan Petaia along with Australia's ball-in-hand approach, claiming Rugby World Cups are won by pragmatic teams.

England coach Jones heaped a spoonful of pressure on teenager Petaia, who has been cast as a possible match-winner in Saturday's quarter-final at Oita, despite it being his maiden Test start at outside centre.

Jones described Petaia as "handy" but said the rookie's mental strength will get a full workout from his battle-hardened team.

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"I've seen enough of him to know he can play a bit but it's going to be a big occasion for the boy," Jones said.

"He's playing a quarter-final in front of 40,000 people in Oita where you know that you don't get another day.

"This is the day, and for a young player you can either rise to the occasion or you can find it difficult."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has hung his hat this year on an attacking, possession-based style, with very few kicks in general play.

Jones reckons that is the antithesis of how to succeed at the global tournament.

"You don't see brilliant rugby in World Cups. You see teams that are able to do things over and over again well - deal with the intensity, application, work hard for each other.

"I can't recall a brilliant team winning the World Cup. It's tough hard teams that stick together.

"Maybe the only one is New Zealand in 2015. They were miles ahead of everyone."

Jones believes he's honed his team into a team capable of playing at a high level for seven straight games, or in his case six after last week's scheduled pool match against France was cancelled because of poor weather.

 

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The colourful former Wallabies coach evoked images of ancient Japanese Warriors when he put this weekend's clash into context, the first of four mouth-watering quarter-finals.

"You see those hills at the back of us? That's where all the samurais lived. Every time the samurais fought, one lived and one died," Jones said. "It will be the same on Saturday; someone is going to live and someone is going to die.

"That's the excitement of the tournament. You get the best eight teams, all playing for their lives."