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Eddie Jones demands mental intensity from England as Australia tour looms

England’s head coach says his side must cope without structure as he sets about creating an environment similar to that under Clive Woodward

Eddie Jones has in his long career never been accused of being diplomatic but since taking over as England’s head coach at the end of last year he has adopted a national tradition: his upper lip has largely been stiff, apart from the odd twitch, but that is set to change in the coming months as his side switches from European skirmishes to battles against the might of the southern hemisphere.

Asked if Saturday’s Premiership final between Saracens and Exeter, which preceded Sunday’s international against Wales at Twickenham, was a duel between the two clubs in the league who best reflected his ambition for England to become an all-weather side, conditioned to play any style of rugby reflexively, Jones fixed the questioner with an incredulous look before replying: “You are joking, aren’t you? I cannot answer that question, seriously, otherwise I will get into a hell of a lot of trouble. You are not getting me down that track. The England squad players in the final had to play as their clubs asked them: in some positions it is significantly different to what we ask.”

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