Eddie Jones claimed an England training session was spied on ahead of their blockbuster Rugby World Cup semi-final with New Zealand.
The head coach said the team were aware of someone filming from an apartment close to their Chiba training base, though he did not directly accuse the All Blacks of any underhand tactics.
Jones stated such methods were commonplace in the past but are now redundant such is the information readily available.
“There was definitely someone in the apartment block filming, but it might have been a Japanese fan,” he told a media conference.
“We don’t care, mate. We knew it from the start, but it doesn’t change anything. We love it. It’s part of the fun of the World Cup. We have got someone there [at New Zealand’s training] now mate!
“I haven’t done it since 2001. I used to do it. You just don’t need to do it anymore. You can see everything. You can watch everyone’s training on YouTube.
“There’s no value in doing that sort of thing – absolutely zero. Everyone knows what everyone does – there are no surprises in world rugby anymore. You just have to be good enough on the day.”
— England Rugby (@EnglandRugby) October 21, 2019
England face a daunting task in Yokohama on Saturday against a New Zealand side chasing a third straight World Cup triumph.
Jones, though, believes his side can play without fear against the All Blacks, of who he says “the pressure will be chasing them down the street”.
“We get to play one of the greatest teams ever that are shooting for a ‘three-peat’, which has never been done, so that brings an element of pressure,” he added.
“We don’t have any pressure. No one thinks we can win. There are 120 million Japanese people out there whose second team are the All Blacks.
“So, there’s no pressure on us, we’ve just got to have a great week, enjoy it, relax. Train hard and enjoy this great opportunity we’ve got, whereas they’ve got to be thinking about how they’re looking for their third World Cup and so that brings some pressure.
“It’s our job to take the time and space away so that we put them under pressure. New Zealand talk about walking towards pressure, well this week the pressure is going to be chasing them down the street. That’s the reality of it, that’s how we’re approaching it.
“Pressure is a real thing. The busiest bloke in Tokyo this week will be Gilbert Enoka – the [New Zealand] mental skills coach.
“They have to deal with all this pressure of winning the World Cup three times and it is potentially the last game for their greatest coach and their greatest captain, and they will be thinking about those things.
“Those thoughts go through your head. It is always harder to defend a World Cup and they will be thinking about that, therefore there is pressure.”
KEO.co.za News wire is powered by opta