Eddie Jones insists England must be ready for South Africa’s forward-led onslaught in Saturday’s World Cup final while guarding against the possibility of an ambush.
The Springboks pack has steamrollered a path through the tournament, with Wales the latest victims to be battered into submission as they fell 19-16 at International Stadium Yokohama on Sunday.
Jones and his assistant coach John Mitchell watched from the stands as the ball rarely passed beyond the muscular Damian de Allende at inside centre while scrum-half general Faf de Klerk kicked 19 times in the semi-final.
Jones expects similar tactics when the rivals collide in the climax to the first Asian World Cup but is also wary that Rassie Erasmus may have some surprises planned.
“Rassie is a cunning coach, good coach, and has done a great job with the Springboks,” Jones said.
“We’re prepared for the unexpected because they can play in different ways. You saw Faf de Klerk do 15-20 box kicks against Wales, but we know that Pollard is an excellent kicker.
“The way he goal-kicked was fantastic. He is smooth, has a nice touch on the ball and that’s a wonderful advantage for them.
“We know they can play differently and we’re aware of that, but we also know that they are going to come through the front door.
“There are not many Springbok teams that don’t come through the front door, so we’ve got to be ready at the front door and have enough cover at the back door too.”
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