RWC Spygate: England spot camera at training

TOKYO — England coach Eddie Jones said his team were spied on at training Tuesday ahead of their Rugby World Cup semifinal against New Zealand and also turned up the heat on the All Blacks saying all the pressure is on the current champions.

Jones said an individual was spotted in one of the high-rise buildings around their training base in Chiba, Tokyo, with a camera. He did not deploy England’s security to confront the viewer, nor did he point the finger of blame at any individual or team.

“We knew [about] it from the start [of training], it doesn’t change anything, we love it,” Jones said. “There was definitely someone in the apartment block filming but it might have been a Japanese fan. [I] don’t care mate.”

When asked whether it was ethically wrong to film another team training, Jones answered: “You just don’t need to do it any more, you can see everything. You can watch everyone’s training on YouTube. There’s no value in doing that sort of thing, absolutely zero.”

Jones said he last spied on a team in 2001, and when asked if a team he coached had been spied on before, he responded: “Got no idea mate. Everyone knows what everyone does there are no surprises in world rugby anymore that’s the great thing about the game you just have to be good enough on the day.”

England prop Joe Marler was asked about whether he saw anyone filming their training. “I don’t know,” Marler said. “I couldn’t see anyone. It was too windy. I doubt he’d have got much anyway, it was tipping it down.”

The spygate news adds another subplot to a week where both England and New Zealand are chasing a spot in the World Cup final. The All Blacks last lost a World Cup game in 2007 and are chasing an unprecedented third title in a row. Jones said chasing that feat will put pressure on New Zealand and said All Blacks’ mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka will be the “busiest bloke in Tokyo this week”.

“They have to deal with all this pressure of winning the World Cup three times and it is potentially the last game for their greatest coach and their greatest captain and they will be thinking about those things,” Jones added.

“Those thoughts go through your head. It is always harder to defend a World Cup and they will be thinking about that and therefore there is pressure.”

Jones’ England lost by one point to the All Blacks last November, but says that game has little relevance to Saturday’s semifinal. Instead, he pointed to those in his squad who beat New Zealand with the British & Irish Lions in 2017.

“They went down there, they played in their back yard,” Jones said. “They know they’re human. They bleed, they drop balls, they miss tackles like every other player.

“It’s our job to take the time and space away so that we put them under pressure. New Zealand talk about walking towards pressure, well this week the pressure is going to be chasing them down the street. That’s the reality of it, that’s how we’re approaching it.

“We’ve got nothing to lose, that’s the exciting thing for us. We can just go out there and play our game. If we’re good enough we’ll win, if we’re not good enough we’ve done our best.”

Source Link