Michael Cheika and Eddie Jones react to England win

‘We’ve got cold beers. We haven’t got warm beers’ - head coaches reflect on 2016 season

England head coach Eddie Jones’ sole focus is winning the 2019 World Cup as he played down the importance of a record-equalling run.

Saturday’s 37-21 victory over Australia at Twickenham saw England complete a calendar year undefeated for the first time since 1992 and it was a 14th win in a row.

That sequence, which tied the record held by Clive Woodward’s World Cup winners in 2002-03, began with World Cup victory over Uruguay as the hosts exited in ignominy.

Now Jones, who succeeded Stuart Lancaster as boss in November 2015 and has overseen 13 wins in 2016, wants his side to dethrone world champions New Zealand in Japan in three years' time.


Jones said: “The only record we’re interested in is being the number one team in the world. To do that you’ve got to win the World Cup.

“There’s clocks around (Twickenham) which say how many days until the World Cup final — 1,020 days. Every day counts.

“We’ve got until November 2nd, 8pm Japan time to get ready. That’s what we’re aiming at. We want to be at our best on that night.

“We’re progressing. We can’t get too ahead of ourselves. We’re only the number two team in the world and we want to be number one.

“We’ve got a long way to go before we achieve that. And we’re hell-bent on achieving that.

“We’ve got the talent here. It’s just whether we get the desire and cohesion right. That’s what we’re aiming to do.”

Jones says his England side, yet to play the All Blacks, are still not at the level of Woodward’s.

He added: “The 2003 side were a much better side than we are at the moment. They could win any number of ways.

2003 comparisons

“They had a very, very consistent scrum and lineout. We don’t have that yet.

“We’re getting there.”

England on Saturday overcame an early 10-point deficit with tries from Jonathan Joseph (two), Mardland Yarde and Ben Youngs, while Sefa Naivalu and Sekope Kepu scored for the Wallabies.

Jones praised his side’s second-half display, after going back to basics.

“We just had to hang in there and we did,” Jones added.

“In the second half we did the basics really well. To win the second half 24-5 is a pretty fair effort.”

Jones described Youngs’ contribution as “masterful” and said the scrum-half, who scored following a quick tap penalty and an exquisite dummy, had put his hand up for Lions selection for next summer’s tour to New Zealand.

Jones praised Nathan Hughes, who impressed as deputy to Billy Vunipola at number eight, and is encouraged at his side's growing depth.

“We’re probably missing seven influential players,” Jones said.

“That’s a hell of a lot of talent to be missing. We overcame that loss of talent.

“Australia are probably close to full strength. So that’s a good result for us today.”

Trading barbs

The build-up was characterised by Jones and Australia head coach Michael Cheika, former club team-mates in Australia, trading barbs in the media.

And Jones said his highlights of his first year in charge were June’s 3-0 series win in Australia.

Asked what extra satisfaction he took from the win, Jones said: “Zero, mate. It’s just another game of Test footy. To beat the third-ranked country in the world 4-0 is just fantastic, isn’t it?”

He said Australia and Cheika had been invited into England’s changing room for a drink.

“We’ve got cold beers. We haven’t got warm beers,” Jones said.

Australia were 2015 World Cup runners-up to the All Blacks after losing the Twickenham final.

The Wallabies suffered a ninth loss in 15 Tests in 2016, four of them to England.

Cheika said: “We finished the season last year in the same dressing room after a loss.

“We’ve had two disappointing finishes to ‘15 and ‘16, but we’ve definitely improved as a team.

“I’m very positive about the team as a whole. I don’t need to search for a bit in the game here and there. I’m seeing the improvements we’re making.”

Cheika rued his side not making more of their early supremacy.

He added: “First half we needed to score more points. We had a lot of opportunities.

“In the second half we needed to react to stop the momentum England created.

“The moments we had to try to break that momentum, we made errors. And that cost us.”