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Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

14:29 28 Oct 2019


Eddie Jones has hit out at Wales manager Warren Gatland, cheekily sending him "best wishes" in the World Cup third-place play-off.

Gatland had questioned whether England had given their final performance a game too early when defeating the All Blacks and Jones was asked for his view on the Wales boss' words.

"Well, guys, can you just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off?" Jones said at a press conference on Monday.

The pair have long been happy to cast sly digs and engage in mind games with each other while head coaches of the two rival nations.

"We have seen in previous World Cups that teams sometimes play their final in semi-finals and don't always turn up for a final," Gatland said.

"So it will be interesting to see how England are next week and it could be a good game."

Meanwhile, Jones also spoke about what he had learned from his past experience of managing Australia to a World Cup final in 2003.

On that occasion, Jones' side lost 17-20 to England and the 59-year-old said that in preparation for a final sometimes less is more.

"It is about doing less. Keeping the players fresh mentally and physically – getting the balance right.

"Coaches tend to think they have to do more and we have to make sure we don't over-coach them and allow them to find their own rhythm to the week. You don’t lack motivation for a World Cup final and so our players will be ready."

"The great thing about our players is that physically they are in fantastic condition so their ability to recover is extraordinary.

"They are taking to the onsens in droves and it is a great way of recovering.

Although Willi Heinz will miss the final for England, Jones was otherwise confident over the fitness of his squad.

"We are good and had a walk through this morning and had to tell Jonny (May) to slow down a bit. He is probably in better condition than he was last week at this stage. Immeasurably better.

"Owen (Farrell) is a bit sore but will be fine, and there are some bumps and bruises."

England face South Africa with kick-off at 9am in the World Cup final on Saturday.

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