Jones : South Africa are still a huge challenge

England head coach Eddie Jones

England head coach Eddie Jones says that even though they are ranked second in the world he still regards playing South Africa as a massive task.

The last time an Eddie Jones coached team played South Africa was in the Rugby World Cup when his Japan side beat the Springboks.

England and South Africa meet later this year (November 12) and even though England beat Australia 3-0 in Australia Jones is is expecting a “huge challenge” at Twickenham.

“England has not beaten South Africa since 2006 and we’ve lost our last five games against the Springboks at Twickenham,” said Jones.

“Not a single player who will attend the pre-season camp has played in a side that has ever beaten South Africa.

“While we acknowledge that we’re moving in the right direction we also recognise that defeat is never far away. It’s important the players all keep trying to improve and push themselves to reach new standards in their game. We cannot afford to have any complacency in our approach to this Test.

Jones has already started preparations for the Test and has announced a provisional 45-man elite player squad (EPS) for England’s pre-season training camp in August.

England will announce a final 45-man EPS on September 30 for the Old Mutual Wealth Series starting against South Africa.

“This camp sets the scene for November,” said Jones.

“It’s important to catch-up with the players prior to the start of the season and continue to put our plans in place.

“We’ll use this time to reset and review each player’s goals so they’re clear on what is expected of them between now and when we meet up again in October. It also gives us an opportunity to meet and assess some new players and ensure they are familiar with the England setup.

“The long-term strategy for England is to develop a side who can be the most dominant team in world rugby, so we’ve chosen a number of new faces to attend this camp on the form they have shown recently or the potential we see in them.

“There will always be opportunities for anyone playing consistently well in the Premiership at the start of the season to force their way into the EPS – the door is always open. Naturally, players not included in this pre-season camp will be disappointed, but consistent high-level performances can change this.”

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