England coach Eddie Jones has said the team are now “back to zero” after last month’s historic 3-0 Test series win over his native Australia.
Jones’s men became the first England side to win a Test series in Australia, and did so with a whitewash of the Wallabies.
But for Jones, Australia’s coach when they lost to England in the 2003 World Cup final in Sydney, there is still work to do if they are to overtake world champions New Zealand as the international game’s number one ranked side.
“We’re back to zero now. Australia has gone,” Jones told reporters in London following a series that ended with England’s 44-40 victory in in Sydney.
“We didn’t defend well. They scored too many easy tries against us. There’s work to do.
“We want to be an aggressive side, we want to get off the line, we want to hit people, but we also have to be smart about it.
“We have good periods and not so good periods. The number one team in the world is good all the time.”
England have enjoyed a rapid rise since Jones took over following the pain of the hosts’ pool stage exit from last year’s World Cup.
He has a perfect played nine, won nine record as England coach — a run that includes last season’s Six Nations Grand Slam — and under his guidance the team have risen from eighth to second in the world rankings.
In November and December, they will try to make it 13 in a row when they welcome South Africa, Fiji, Argentina and Australia to Twickenham before facing New Zealand in 2017.
– ‘Evolving mindset’ –
Jones — who hit a rapid 30 for a Rugby Football Union XI against the Rugby Writers in a cricket match in Richmond, southwest London on Monday — has always been keen to learn from other sports.
He recently spent time with the Orica-BikeExchange cycling team competing in the Tour de France.
“It is incredible what they do; there is almost a race behind the bike race, all the cars with the head coaches drive behind the bikes, giving them instructions,” he said.
“The preparation is really good individually, before the ride with the information they are given, and the post-ride debriefs. The way they set it up is very professional.”
England won the first Test in Brisbane 39-28 before clinching the series with a 23-7 victory in Melbourne.
“We’ve done some good things in rugby but we still have a long way to go,” added Jones.
“But our mindset is evolving. In Australia our hardest game was the third Test, having already won 2-0. Australia have nothing to lose and are giving it everything.
“There were signs of wear and tear, so to put in that effort mentally, rather than physically, is what we are talking about on the Tour.
“Those guys go up that first slope for 45 minutes — it’s tiring enough driving up it — and then they have to keep going for another four and a half hours.
“That’s not physical toughness, it’s mental toughness and our guys exhibited that in the third Test which was really pleasing.” – Agence France-Presse