Rugby World Cup: New Zealand are beatable, England coach Eddie Jones

Eddie Jones
England have lost on all three occasions they have faced New Zealand in a World Cup
England v New Zealand, Rugby World Cup semi-final
Venue: International Stadium Yokohama Date: Saturday, 26 October. Kick-off: 09:00 BST
Coverage: Full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.

England coach Eddie Jones says World Cup semi-final opponents New Zealand are beatable and his side will work on exploiting their weaknesses this week.

England saw off Australia 40-16 on Saturday to set up a last-four meeting with the two-time defending champions, who themselves thrashed Ireland 46-14.

The All Blacks have not been beaten in the tournament since losing in the 2007 quarter-final against France.

"No one's got a 100% record in Test rugby," said Jones.

"No one averages 100 in Test cricket. No one wins every Grand Slam 6-0 6-0. So every team has got a weakness. Every team is beatable."

Asked what those weaknesses were, Jones added: "Well, we'll find that out during the week."

New Zealand head into Saturday's clash in Yokohama having scored 44 more points than England at the World Cup and crossed for eight more tries.

"The All Blacks are a great side - well coached, good leadership team - if you give them the type of ball they want, they are hard to defend against," added Jones.

"But like any team they've got weaknesses.

"If I was an Englishman I'd be making sure that whatever time the kick-off is in England you're ready to sit down and watch it."

All Blacks second-rower Sam Whitelock says the back-to-back champions are capable of winning by any means necessary.

"It's the reality of playing rugby that there's so many different styles," said Whitelock.

"You can go out there and have an awesome backline and win games through them, or you can punt the ball up the tight five's jumper and play that way.

"But I'd like to think us as a team have a few different strengths, and it's nice to use a few of those in different games.

"It's pretty cool to see guys stepping up on the biggest stage, it's always what you dream of but when it happens it's great.

"If someone puts in a big shot in defence everyone else just wants to get in there and put in one as big, if not bigger."

Can England exploit youthful All Blacks?

Nigel Yaldon, from New Zealand Radio Sport, says England may look to exploit Steve Hansen's youthful backline - with centres Jack Goodhue and Anton Lienert-Brown and wing George Bridge all 24, and Sevu Reece only 22.

"This is a team with a little bit of youth about it and while they were very good against Ireland, I wonder whether that is an area of exploitation - the extra pressure that comes with a semi-final," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I still have not seen anyone test Reece under a high ball with a kick-chase game as yet. I think he is a guy that can be exploited in that area."

However, former England fly-half Paul Grayson expects the All Blacks to have enough to reach a third successive World Cup final.

"New Zealand are a young team that have had some changes in the last year, but they have found their right patterns," he added.

"I would have them just ahead, but England will be tough to beat."

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