Watch England vs New Zealand on Saturday – coverage begins on Sky Sports Action at 2pm
By Matthew Treadwell
Last Updated: 05/11/18 4:03pm
Steve Hansen says England head coach Eddie Jones will not be feeling the pressure when New Zealand face the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday.
England weathered the storm before defeating South Africa 12-11 in their opening autumn international last weekend and will now look to put in a strong showing against the top-ranked side in the world.
But when asked if Jones will be feeling the heat when the sides meet for the first time in four years, Hansen insisted international coaches feel a certain degree of pressure, whether they are winning or losing.
England vs New Zealand
November 10, 2018, 2:00pm
“Talking to Eddie, I know he and England are very excited about this game, and we are too,” Hansen said ahead of Saturday’s Sky Live game.
“We usually talk either by text or by phone, probably every second week. 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 me; 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.
“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.
Jones: Curry unlikely to face All Blacks
England head coach Eddie Jones says flanker Tom Curry is “highly unlikely” to be fit for Saturday’s Test against New Zealand at Twickenham.
“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. 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.”
England lost four consecutive Test matches to New Zealand in 2014, but a quirk of the global fixture calendar means the two sides have not met since.
Hansen admitted Jones’ experience will mean the All Blacks will still face a tough test at Twickenham, despite England’s well-publicised injury problems.
“He’s got a tremendous work ethic, Eddie; he does a lot of homework and through that he will have identified some areas he’ll want to try to target,” added Hansen.
“Does that give him any better idea how to beat us than anyone else? Maybe. But there’s a lot of good coaches out there.
“To win a Test match against a good opponent you’ve got to do your homework and things have to fall your way a little bit.
“He’s had some success against New Zealand in the past, but hopefully he doesn’t get any on Saturday.
“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.”
As for whether Owen Farrell intended any foul play in his last-gasp tackle on Andre Esterhuizen when England edged out South Africa, Jones insisted that was ultimately a concern for him but admitted he saw nothing wrong in the challenge.
“What I think doesn’t really matter. I’m not the ref and the ref made the decision based on all the information he had,” said Hansen.
“Referees are going to get some things right and some things wrong, they have a very difficult job. If you’re South African you think it’s a penalty and if you’re an England supporter you probably think it wasn’t.
“We as coaches and players we just have to take the decisions on the chin. There’s been plenty of decisions in the past we haven’t necessary agreed on but you can’t go back and change them.
“I don’t think there was any foul play intended, whether he got the tackle right or wrong was irrelevant; we just move on.”