Is Eddie Jones playing mind games with the US camp? Picture: Getty
Is Eddie Jones playing mind games with the US camp? Picture: Getty

Eddie’s mind games against ‘battle-hardened’ USA

England coach Eddie Jones expects the United States to play with huge self-belief and confidence when they clash in the Rugby World Cup on Thursday.

Jones, who announced 10 changes on Tuesday to the side that struggled to hit top gear in their opening Pool C win over Tonga, said the US would be an entirely different proposition to the Pacific Islanders.

"We know they've been down in Okinawa preparing with the marines, so they'll be hardened for battle," he told a news conference after announcing the team on Tuesday.

"We don't know what the USA are going to bring but we know they are going to be committed, they are going to play with a lot of pride."

 

Stream over 50 sports live & anytime on your TV or favourite device with KAYO SPORTS. The biggest Aussie sports and the best from overseas. Just $25/month. No lock-in contract. Get your 14 day free trial

 

 

 

Jones has opted to rest rampaging centre Manu Tuilagi, who scored two tries against Tonga, among a slew of changes while giving squad players a chance to stake a claim.

Skipper Owen Farrell will be on the bench with only fullback Elliot Daly, five-eighth George Ford, No.8 Billy Vunipola, flanker Tom Curry and prop Joe Marler retaining their places for the game at Kobe Misaki Stadium.

 

Manu Tuilagi (R) scored two tries against Tonga - but has been rested for the USA clash. Picture: Getty
Manu Tuilagi (R) scored two tries against Tonga - but has been rested for the USA clash. Picture: Getty

Joe Cokanasiga and fellow winger Ruaridh McConnochie will make their World Cup debuts.

Dan Cole, meanwhile, will join Luke Cowan-Dickie and Marler in the front row to earn his 91st cap, tying Jonny Wilkinson for third on the men's all-time appearances list.

"We've got a plan for each player - some need to play a lot of rugby, some are better playing games every so often," Jones said.

Jones had said on Monday that the game against a well-rested U.S. team would be like playing against "15 Donald Trumps", expecting the confident Americans to hold nothing back in their first game in Japan.

Four of the five players attached to English Premiership clubs in the US squad have made coach Gary Gold's starting line-up, including Sale Sharks flyhalf AJ MacGinty, while former Leicester Tigers back Blaine Scully will captain the side.

The youngest member of the squad, 19-year-old David Ainuu, gets to start at loosehead prop and Gold said he brings a lot to the table despite his inexperience.

"Energy, workrate, enthusiasm and hunger," Gold said of the Tolouse prop.

England: Elliot Daly, Ruaridh McConnochie, Jonathan Joseph, Piers Francis, Joe Cokanasiga, George Ford, Willi Heinz, Billy Vunipola, Lewis Ludlam, Tom Curry, George Kruis, Joe Launchbury, Dan Cole, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Joe Marler. Res: Jack Singleton, Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, Mark Wilson, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Anthony Watson.

United States: Will Hooley, Blaine Scully, Marcel Brache, Paul Lasike, Martin Iosefo, Alan MacGinty, Shaun Davies, Cam Dolan, John Quill, Tony Lamborn, Nick Civetta, Ben Landry, Titi Lamositele, Joe Taufetee, David Ainuu. Res: Dylan Fawsitt, Olive Kilifi, Paul Mullen, Greg Peterson, Hanco Germishuys, Ruben De Hass, Bryce Campbell, Mike Teo.

News Corp Australia


BREAKING: Councillors push to stop 24 per cent rate increase

premium_icon BREAKING: Councillors push to stop 24 per cent rate increase

A rescission motion has been lodged with the council

Redress scheme results remain in the dark

premium_icon Redress scheme results remain in the dark

Participating institutions claim there is no information available

Water restrictions for entire region to start soon

premium_icon Water restrictions for entire region to start soon

Strict new rules on water consumption residents should know about