Rugby Union

All Blacks’ Steve Hansen praises Eddie Jones ahead of England clash

‘There’s a lot of pressure, whether you’re winning or losing – I think he’s doing a pretty good job’: Steve Hansen praises Eddie Jones ahead of England’s clash with New Zealand

  • New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has praised counterpart Eddie Jones
  • The two will go head to head when England host the All Blacks on Saturday
  • Having beaten South Africa 12-11 the pressure has eased on England boss Jones
  • Hansen empathises with Jones and reveals the pair talk every fortnight

Steve Hansen talked up his counterpart Eddie Jones ahead of the eagerly-anticipated England-New Zealand clash, revealing the pair talk every fortnight.

These sides have not played each other for four years, upping the ante for this Saturday’s clash at Twickenham.

Having beaten South Africa 12-11 the pressure has eased on Jones, and Hansen said he empathises with his opposite number.

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has talked up Eddie Jones ahead of their encounter

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has talked up Eddie Jones ahead of their encounter

Hansen empathises with Jones after he came under mounting pressure recently

Hansen empathises with Jones after he came under mounting pressure recently

‘The only people that don’t understand what it’s like to be a head coach of an international team are the people who’ve never been one,’ the All Blacks boss said.

‘There’s a lot of pressure there, all the time, whether you’re winning or losing.

‘It comes just in a different wrapper. And the expectations when you coach a top side like England are, you’re expected to win, and play well.

‘Eddie more than anybody understands that. So he’s not too bothered by it. People who get excited by it are the people that have to write the stories, and sell the newspapers.

‘The bottom line is he’ll be going about doing his job like he always does. And looking from afar, I think he’s doing a pretty good job.

The pressure has since eased on Jones after England beat South Africa 12-11 on Saturday

The pressure has since eased on Jones after England beat South Africa 12-11 on Saturday

Hansen sympathised with Jones as he understands the pressure that comes with the job

Hansen sympathised with Jones as he understands the pressure that comes with the job

‘I can sympathise from my time in New Zealand. Winning doesn’t make it any less pressure, it just comes in a different package.

‘But you know that, you know that there’s going to be pressure with the job, and you accept that and you get on with it.’ Jones and Hansen share a relationship off the field. Hansen said they speak regularly.

‘We usually talk either by text or by phone, probably every second week,’ added Hansen.

‘We don’t just talk about rugby. It’s always good to have other people who are doing a similar role to yourself to be able to talk to.

‘First and foremost you’ve got to have some form of relationship that allows you to get on with each other. You don’t ring people up you don’t like, just because they are doing the same job as you.

‘So it probably indicates I like him and he might like he, I don’t know. The bottom line is we talk, our wives talk, and that’s not surprising. I think he’s a good bloke.’ England have not beaten the All Blacks since 2012 – and only three times this century – but Jones thinks he has a plan to beat New Zealand.

Hansen and Jones will go head to head when England host the All Blacks on Saturday

Hansen and Jones will go head to head when England host the All Blacks on Saturday

Hansen (R) revealed  he shares a good relationship with Jones  and that they talk every fortnight

Hansen (R) revealed he shares a good relationship with Jones and that they talk every fortnight

Hansen is not fazed by a confident Jones, however.

‘You’re the guys calling him bullish, I’m just saying he’s just trying to do the right thing for his team.

‘Does it mean we’ve got to be on guard against England, obviously. It wouldn’t matter if he were bullish or not. They are a good rugby team.

‘They won 18 in a row, only one other side in the world has ever done that. So it makes them a good side.

‘He’s had some success against NZ in the past, but hopefully he doesn’t get any on Saturday.’

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