Monday, December 17
Nov 17, 2018 at 3pm UK
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Japan have a point to prove, warns England coach

Brave Blossoms will be out to make life tough for Eddie Jones' men at Twickenham on Saturday.

England are primed to face a Japan side determined to prove it belongs at the global game's top table when the nations clash at Twickenham on Saturday.

It is only the second time the rivals have met in a Test match, 31 years after they collided at the 1987 World Cup when the Brave Blossoms were crushed 60-7 in Sydney.

The most recent instalment of the tournament was far more successful, however, as an Eddie Jones-led Japan sent South Africa crashing to the greatest upset in rugby history at England 2015.

'Sushi night' was held at the squad's Surrey training base on Tuesday night as part of the week's theme, while on the pitch 11 changes have been made to the team which fell to a controversial 16-15 defeat to New Zealand.

It is hoped the reserve line-up will overrun Japan, enabling the likes of Owen Farrell, Dylan Hartley and Ben Youngs to take a back seat, but Jones refuses to take victory for granted.

"Previously Japanese sides were happy to get beaten – they were the Brave Blossoms – but this new generation believe they can win and that makes them a much stronger side," Jones said.

"They're extremely well coached by Jamie and Tony Brown, they've got a good balance between indigenous Japanese and non-indigenous Japanese and they've got some power where they need to have power."

Eddie Jones has been trying to recreate a World Cup turnaround in the build-up to facing Japan (Steven Paston/PA)

Jones is half-Japanese and coached the side for four years until 2015, but his allegiance is clear.

"The emotional connection doesn't disappear but I've never, by nationality, called myself Japanese because I was brought up as an Australian," he said.

"Japan was part of our family, and obviously marrying a Japanese, having a dog that only speaks Japanese, it's a big part of the family.

"But this is a serious Test match and you don't allow those things to cloud your thoughts."



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1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
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13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269
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