England, Australia set for 'do or die' clash in rugby World Cup

England, Australia set for do or die clash in rugby World Cup
England coach Eddie Jones says his team is ready for the knockout battle.(AP)

Tokyo - Jones knows better than most about the demands of knockout rugby



By AFP

Published: Fri 18 Oct 2019, 8:41 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Oct 2019, 10:47 PM

Rival coaches Eddie Jones and Michael Cheika have both sprung selection surprises heading into a "do or die" World Cup quarterfinal between England and Australia but there are sound reasons behind their dramatic decisions.
Jones has dropped in-form fly-half George Ford to the bench for Saturday's crunch game in Oita, with captain Owen Farrell moving from inside centre to stand-off.
Farrell, however, has plenty of Test experience at fly-half, where he plays for English and European champions Saracens.
By moving Farrell, Jones can pair Manu Tuilagi and the fit-again Henry Slade in midfield, a combination of power and guile he deployed during the Six Nations that also offers increased defensive solidity in an area of the pitch where Australia are strong in attack.
And should England need him to close out the match, they still have the option of bringing Ford off the bench.
"Australia defend a certain way and we believe those players can trouble their defence," said Jones, the Wallabies' coach when they lost the 2003 World Cup final to England.
"Defensively we feel that 10-12-13 (fly-half, inside centre, outside centre) combination is a strong combination."
Jones, a consultant to the South Africa side that won the 2007 World Cup and the coach of Japan when they stunned the Springboks in England four years ago, knows better than most about the demands of knockout rugby.
And with his four-year reign as England coach hinging on the team's progress at Japan 2019, the Australian said: "No one has won a World Cup after losing a game and there's a reason for that.
"You know it's do or die time," he also told reporters at England's hotel in Beppu.
"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.
"It will be the same on Saturday - someone is going to live and someone is going to die." 
 


More news from Sports