The pound is down, but Eddie Jones reckons rugby’s stocks are rising in England and Australia after his side exploited Wallabies’ weaknesses they identified in a “cracker” series.
England clinched a 3-0 clean sweep with a 44-40 victory in Saturday night’s rollercoaster third Test in Sydney which included nine tries and six lead changes.
“It was a fantastic series wasn’t it?” said Australian-born England coach Jones.
“Three really cracker games, that’s brought rugby more into the sports landscape in Australia.
“I’m sure people in England maybe are talking a little less about the pound devaluing and more about the value of the England rugby side going up.”
Jones had talked up the prospect of a series whitewash even before it started.
“I’m the the eternal optimist and there was weaknesses in the Australian side we identified, so we thought could get them in various areas,” Jones said.
“We were able to do that to some extent, so the possibility of us winning 3-0 was always very strong.”
Jones wasn’t prepared to divulge what Wallabies weaknesses they identified, saying only: “They are a well-coached side, they’ll work it out for themselves.”
He said the series sweep was a significant achievement but represented just a small step for England.
Jones will demand more consistency, especially in defence where his side leaked four tries in game one and five in the final contest, while conceding just one in the middle clash.
“If we’re going to be the best side in the world, which we’re aiming to be, we’ve got to be much more consistent and we’ll work very hard to get that,” he said.
Jones thought there was still room for improvement in star inside centre Owen Farrell, whose goalkicking he described as “solar system”-class after he finished the series with 66 points and missed just three of 26 kicks.
“Being a top-class rugby player is about being consistent in your application and making good decision and what he’s doing is making a lot of good decisions,” Jones said.
“There’s still some more consistency in his skill application, but that will come.”
While some Wallabies fans had a crack at Jones on Saturday he described the atmosphere as “good fun.”
“They’ve all been at the Olympic Hotel before (the game), fuelling up,” quipped Jones, who still hoped to have a beer with Wallabies coach and former teammate Michael Cheika.
“It’s been a pleasure to be in Australia. Obviously being an Australian, I’m always grateful to Australia for what they’ve done for me for rugby, but certainly nice beating them 3-0.