England head coach Eddie Jones.
England head coach Eddie Jones. Alastair Grant

Jones says rivalry with Cheika is just friendly banter

RUGBY UNION: England coach Eddie Jones has claimed the barbs flying between himself and former Randwick teammate Michael Cheika are all a bit of fun.

Jones has been on the front foot this week, with England going for a record 14th win in a row since the former Wallabies mentor took over last year.

Both coaches have taken swipes at each other in the build-up to tomorrow morning's (AEST) clash at Twickenham, but Jones said it was just harmless banter.

"This week's been fun, we've had a great week here preparing. The media's had fun - good headlines,” he said.

"Cheika's had fun and everyone's enjoying it. It's great for rugby.

"There's nothing better than an Australia-England rivalry is there?

"I think it's fantastic. It's been a great week.”

Cheika could not resist one last dig, saying Jones had tarnished his legacy by some of the comments he made during England's historic 3-0 series win over Australia in June.

"We've had a great week,” Jones said.

"We set out what we wanted to do at the start of the week, got the ball rolling and then all we worry about is our preparation.

"It's uncontrollable. It's not for me to decide what my legacy is, it's for other people to decide. So why would I worry about it?

"Do you think I'm the sort of person that worries about people's opinion of me?”

Jones said he was set to meet with referee Jaco Peyper yesterday regarding Australia's scrummaging, but it appeared unlikely Cheika would join him despite getting an invitation.

The England coach said his team would not be taking anything for granted as it looked to continue its unbeaten run.

"I spoke to the players about it this morning,” Jones said.

"When you win how many games we've won in a row, that's when you're at your most vulnerable.

"The only way you get over the top of that is to have the correct mindset and that's an individual responsibility to get right.

"I think from a team perspective we're in a reasonable state.

"Individually, over the next 48 hours, the players will find their right state and we need them to be right on the ball.”



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