Eddie Jones has challenged England to rewrite history next Saturday by beating New Zealand at Twickenham for the first time in a decade, insisting that downing the All Blacks is not “Mission: Impossible”.
Jones’s side kick-started their autumn campaign with a dominant 52-13 victory over Japan, running in seven tries in a performance far improved from the defeat by Argentina six days earlier. Next up are New Zealand, against whom Jones led his side to victory in the 2019 World Cup semi-final and to a one-point defeat in 2018 in his two meetings as England head coach.
Without Jones, England have fared considerably worse against the All Blacks, having won just eight of their 42 meetings in history and only two of the last 17, beating them most recently on home soil in 2012 when Manu Tuilagi ran amok.
“It’s an opportunity to play against one of the giants of world rugby,” said Jones, whose own record against New Zealand is six wins in 14 matches. “For an England player it is a massive opportunity. You look at the history of the sport, the game has been going for what, 150 years, and England have won 19% of their Tests against New Zealand. So there is a narrative about the game that says England can’t beat New Zealand but in 2019 we showed if you have got the right attitude and the right gameplan that history can be broken. We have got a great opportunity this coming week to break history again and we’re looking forward to the opportunity.”
The All Blacks have endured their struggles this year, most notably losing their home series against Ireland, but did win the Rugby Championship and began their November campaign with an ominous victory over Wales before facing Scotland on Sunday.
Jones said: “They are playing a slightly different game than they used to but certainly guys who played in that  game like Owen Farrell, and Mako and Billy Vunipola, Jamie George and Maro Itoje are going to be important in reinforcing to the players it is not Mission: Impossible. If we go after them they are there for the taking and we are going to go after them.”
Against Japan, England began far more brightly than against Argentina with Freddie Steward scoring the opening try before Marcus Smith and Guy Porter added two apiece while Ellis Genge got in on the act with the hosts also awarded a penalty try. “It’s an improvement, as we said at the start of November, each game we want to get a little bit better and we were better than Argentina,” added Jones.