RWC latest – Jones backs Blacks

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Jones backs Blacks - Eddie Jones says the All Blacks are best placed to win the World Cup but expressed concerns around their tactics.

Jones, who assisted the Springboks during the 2007 triumph in France, told the BBC: ‘New Zealand should win, but watching them play I think they are in danger of becoming too complicated for themselves. They play best when they use their athleticism and power.

‘Of the other leading sides, the Australian team is based around very young players and South Africa have not gone as far forward as they would have wanted in the last four years.

He wrote off England’s chances based primarily on his deep reservations about the potency of their halfback combination.

‘I don’t think Ben Youngs is a Test scrumhalf,’ said Jones. ‘He is good on go-forward ball but when the ball gets slow he struggles to make decisions and I think (flyhalf) Toby Flood is the same, which is a big weakness. That combination means I don’t think they can win the World Cup.’

Still no sponsor for Fiji – The Fiji team still has no major sponsor just six weeks out from the World Cup. Officials say the team will rely on the support of the Fiji government and the generosity of fans to fund its participation.

Fiji Rugby Union marketing manager Tevita Waqairawai told a news conference that the union was in negotiation with “a couple” of potential sponsors but interest had been hit by Fiji’s recent results. They lost to Tonga and Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup, and were smashed 60-14 by the All Blacks last week. Fiji will face the Springboks in Pool D at the World Cup.

‘The timing is now critical for whoever is going to come on board because we are just round the corner and one of the difficulties we are facing with sponsorship is the mixed results the team has been getting,’ he said.