Eddie Jones has stepped up his preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup by flying out to Japan on a recce to finalise his plans for England’s tilt at winning the Webb Ellis Cup.
The 57-year-old Australian flew with his backroom staff to Japan on Thursday to scout out potential destinations for England’s base, with training facilities and hotels top of the agenda, but he will also look to forge positive relationships to ensure their arrival in September 2019 is as smooth as possible with the locals.
Jones, who was born to a Japanese-American mother and spent six years in the country as head coach of Suntory Sungoliath and then the national team, will take his staff to Tokyo, Yokohama, Miyazaki and Kobe in an effort to get a step ahead of their World Cup rivals.
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“There are two years to go so we are getting to the very serious part of the build-up to the Rugby World Cup,” Jones said ahead of his departure.
“I wanted to bring some of my staff over here from each department to start to familiarise themselves with Japan and understand the possible climatic conditions as well as get a feel of what it is going to be like to play in the World Cup here.”
The British and Irish Lions made a point of trying to gel with the local culture during their tour of New Zealand, and Jones is clearly thinking on the same page, with the coach looking to educate his players before the World Cup about the Japanese cultures and ways of life that the squad will encounter during their stay in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Part of that will be learning how to deal with the weather conditions, given that the heat in some areas can rise to as high as 40 degrees Celsius in late summer.
“People don’t have the impression of Japan being a hot country,” Jones added. “It’s not seen as a hot and humid country from foreigners.
“The English in particular describe Japan as the ‘Far East’ which is a lovely quaint old…