Jump to main content
Jones pleased with England performance in Tonga win

Jones pleased with England performance in Tonga win

England Head Coach Eddie Jones was pleased with the efforts of his side as they eased to a 69-3 win over Tonga at Twickenham, reserving special praise for stand-in captain Courtney Lawes.

His side scored 11 tries in front of a full house at Twickenham, with fans back at HQ for the first time since March 2020.

Jones was forced into a late re-shuffle of his side when captain and fly-half Owen Farrell was ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19, meaning Lawes took the captaincy and George Furbank slotted into the No.10 jersey as Marcus Smith was not deemed fit enough to start.

Jones was particularly happy with the second half, where his England side scored six of the 11 tries.

When asked what he was especially happy with, he said: “That we’re prepared to put in the effort when it probably wasn’t needed which is good, that second half is one of those tricky 40 minutes of rugby where you know the result’s not in the mix and you’ve just got to dig deep within yourself to find a bit more to play hard.

“I thought we played harder in the second half than we did in the first half which is a good sign for the team.”

Lawes starred on his captaincy debut for England, leading by example with a simply outrageous tackle on Tongan full-back Telusa Veainu to deny a Tongan score, something Jones was delighted with.

He added: “You want a leader to be at their absolute best and Courtney’s chase on Veainu in the first half when the intercept was taken was an incredible chase.

“I don’t think he knew he could still run that fast, which is a good sign for a leader because he’s telling you that if I’m prepared to do it, then everyone else has got to do it.”

England’s attack was a talking point for all the wrong reasons during the Six Nations, but with 11 tries, some of which involved some slick handling, today appeared to be a new dawn for this England side.

“We saw the mindset of being aggressive in attacking the opportunities, and that’s what we’ve been working on, the mechanics of it will be a constant fine tuning, and the only time you need to see that at its best is when we play the seventh game of the World Cup,” said Jones.

That change-up at fly-half was something that also caused a lot of raised eyebrows, especially when Furbank received the starting jersey ahead of Smith.

“We knew 100% that Owen wasn’t going to be involved this morning, so we made the change.

“He’s (Furbank) trained at 10, but he’s been training in the opposition team mostly, so he hadn’t had the chance to run with Manu (Tuilagi)and Sladey (Henry Slade) as much as we would’ve liked.

“But I thought he acquitted himself well, he’s one of those boys, he’s got a lot of common sense, he’s got a nice feel for the game and that ability to play 10 and 15 for us is just so invaluable.”

Previous Story Sexton on 100 caps and competition for Ireland No.10 jersey
Next Story Crowley reveals main priority for Italy after defeat to All Blacks

More News

Jones pleased with England performance in Tonga win

Top 5 Scotland tries from the Autumn Nations Series

5th Dec 2021
Will Jordan All Blacks

Top 5 All Blacks tries from the Autumn Nations Series

4th Dec 2021
Marcus Smith runs in a try

Top 5 England tries from the Autumn Nations Series

2nd Dec 2021