Jonny May insists England believe Eddie Jones can lead them to World Cup glory
Jonny May insists Eddie Jones has the vision to deliver England the World Cup – while mutiny threatens to break out in the French camp.
The fierce Six Nations rivals clash at International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday in a game that will decide who finishes top of Pool C with either Wales or Australia waiting in the quarter-finals.
Both teams are unbeaten in Japan but France have got progressively worse during their group campaign, culminating in Sunday’s 23-21 victory over Tonga, and there has been a report that an all-too familiar player-led coup is brewing.
Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has even released a video responding to a dismal performance against the Pacific Islanders in which he encouraged the players to “take control guys, take the power. Kick the coaches out!”.
In contrast to the revolt brewing in Kumamoto, England’s united squad have plotted a comfortable route through the pool under the guidance of Jones.
“Eddie just knows how to run a programme. He drives hard standards but he’s charismatic,” Leicester wing May said.
“He’s got a personality. He’s got a ruthlessness about him. He’s very different to anyone I’ve worked with him – and that’s Eddie.
“He’s a pretty one-off character, but we all have belief in the programme he’s running because of the experience he has.
“We wouldn’t want anyone else taking us through this journey that we’re on. He’s been there and he’s done it and we buy into everything he wants us to do.
“We’ve got such a good squad and so much talent that nobody really needs to pull a rabbit out of a hat in a game or do anything other than doing their job to the best of their ability.
“If we’ve got 31 people doing that and all our management around us as well doing their job brilliantly then we have a very good chance of winning the World Cup.
“It’s not difficult for me getting up for England. You feel it building all week and at the moment I feel ready to go off like a rocket at the weekend.”
Meanwhile, Jamie George insists England have the firepower to cover for Billy Vunipola if his Saracens team-mate is ruled out against France.
Vunipola failed to appear for the second-half of Saturday’s 39-10 victory over Argentina after suffering an ankle injury that required ongoing treatment on the Tokyo Stadium pitch.
The marauding number eight has undergone a scan and a definitive update is expected on Tuesday, but with a quarter-final place already secured the overwhelming priority is to ensure he is fit for the knockout phase.
If Vunipola fails to pull through then Tom Curry or Mark Wilson will deputise in the back row for the Pool C finale at International Yokohama Stadium, but his absence would still have a significant impact on England’s ball carrying.
“Eddie made us aware of it when Billy came off at half-time. He said there will potentially be a little more responsibility for the other guys to step up and want the ball,” George said.
“If he does or doesn’t play then we’re all aware that we need to get our hands on the ball and impose ourselves physically.”