Eddie Jones plans 'rope-a-dope' tactics for Boks
SPOTLIGHT: Outspoken England coach Eddie Jones has likened his team to boxing legend Muhammad Ali, when he beat George Foreman with some unconventional tactics in their famous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ showdown in 1974.
Ali, famed for his speed and technical skills, knocked Foreman out in the eighth round – despite the latter’s raw power.
Using his well-documented rope-a-dope tactics, Ali found a way of sapping his opponent’s energy by allowing Foreman to throw barrage after barrage of punches – with the tiring fighter’s punching and defence becoming increasingly ineffective.
Speaking ahead of their final match of the year-end series – where England will host the Springboks in a re-run of the 2019 World Cup Final – Jones made it clear they are not planning on going toe-to-toe with the Boks again.
The monster South African pack demolished England in Yokohama in the 2019 Final and Jones plans a much smarter game.
That famed Bok power was also evident in the two-one series win over the British and Irish Lions, the Rugby Championship win over New Zealand and year-end Tests against Wales and Scotland.
“We are going to have to play differently to beat them,” the wily England coach said.
“If you are taking on a heavyweight contest and you are fighting against George Foreman, who can whack and whack and whack and whack, you have to do something a bit different,” Jones said.
“We have got four days to come up with something a little bit different.
“And we will.
“We will play a little bit different against them.”
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A full house at Twickenham will see the rivals clash for the first time since South Africa claimed the Webb Ellis Cup.
Kyle Sinckler is one of the players eager to resume hostilities with South Africa, as he reflects on the cruellest moment of his England career.
Less than three minutes into the 2019 World Cup Final in Yokohama, the British and Irish Lions prop was knocked unconscious by Maro Itoje’s elbow in an unfortunate collision and his evening was over.
Saturday’s Twickenham rematch has been circled in Sinckler’s calendar since it was confirmed.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look at this fixture and be like: “I need to be ready for that game’,” Sinckler said.
“I wouldn’t talk about revenge.
“What’s done is done.
“Even if we beat them we’re not going to get the World Cup back.
“It’s a huge game and they are world champs for a reason.
“If we want to be the best then we have to beat the best and we have to test ourselves against the best.
“They are currently the world champions and number one in the world, so we have to bring our A-game, otherwise we are going to be in trouble.”
Sources: PA & RugbyPass