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Jones Believes France Will Be Tough In Nations Cup Final

Jones Believes France Will Be Tough In Nations Cup Final

Coach Eddie Jones doesn't care his England will oppose a weakened and depleted France in the Autumn Nations Cup final this weekend.

LONDON: Coach Eddie Jones doesn’t care his England will oppose a weakened and depleted France in the Autumn Nations Cup final this weekend.

There’s a trophy up for grabs on Sunday and he and England want it.

The inaugural final at Twickenham has been diminished by France not being able to pick 25 front-line players because the national union and the Top 14 clubs agreed to limit players to three of the five tests this autumn.

None of the starting XV which handed England its only loss this year is available, including Antoine Dupont, Charles Ollivon, Greg Alldritt, Virimi Vakatawa and Gael Fickou. France will need a third captain in three matches this weekend.

We cant control what the opposition puts out there, we’re not even worrying about it, Jones said on Tuesday.

“You know whatever side France puts out is going to be competitive. Theyre going to be tough, they’ve won the last two Under-20 World Cups so they have plenty of good players. We’re not concerned about this one iota — it’s out of our control.

“All we can do is play to our best. We’re worried about our performance and how we can improve that.

Jones regarded the final as another opportunity to distance his new Six Nations champions from the defeat in the Rugby World Cup final to South Africa last year.

In a championship, the final week is always the greatest learning week, he said. “You learn a lot about yourselves, about your teammates, about how you operate as a team.

“We’ve had one unsuccessful final in the last 13 months, so we’ve learned from that and we’d like to put our learnings into practice this week.

“We’re so excited about (the final). We’ve worked hard for nine weeks to get to this position.

Center Jonathan Joseph was unavailable because of a calf injury.

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first published:December 01, 2020, 21:27 IST