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Jones the best coach in the world – Du Preez

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Staff Writer

Eddie Jones is still the best coach in the world, and while South Africa have a good chance in the Rugby World Cup final against England this weekend, it would be foolish to underestimate him.

Former Springbok captain Fourie du Preez believes that while most people would be talking about the battle this week, Jones has been planning this final for four years now, and that sort of planning makes him extremely dangerous to face.

The England coach, who engineered the monumental Brighton defeat when the Boks were stunned by Japan was also the Boks’ consultant when they won the 2007 game. Du Preez and Jones hit it off when they met before the World Cup and the scrumhalf credits Jones with a massive part of the Boks’ World Cup victory.

With this in mind, he warns that he is a tough opponent to face, and people who see the sarcastic side of Jones often don’t understand just how good a coach he is.

“He didn’t get up on Sunday and start planning how he would beat either South Africa or Wales, he has been planning this for four years. He is a strategist. A lot of South Africans believe we know the right way but Eddie goes and learns from all the top coaches in any sport and he takes the best he can from all the sports and implements it where it can help him,” Du Preez explained.

“People think that he is this egotistical man, but he learns and asks questions. He is unbelievable, deep guy who is genuine, the best coach in the world.

“We are going to be a different test for him this weekend and I still believe we are going to win, but it will be because the players feel the pressure.

“I talk to him regularly and he was my biggest mentor in my career. He was the reason I went to Japan and I learnt more in those four years with him from 2012-2016 than what I learnt in South Africa in my entire career.”

Du Preez said the England running lines in the back line do “scare him” but he feels that if the Boks can apply their pressure game just right they will have a good chance of winning the World Cup this weekend.

“I am scared about what happens in their back line. If you look at what happened 18 months ago when they toured here, Eddie started planning then already for the fast fields in Japan. He chose a back three that is fast and the lines they run are the best in the world. That is why they are in the final, he has identified a speed game, with a power game up front and a very good 9-10-12 combination.

“The lines they run in the back line make me scared, especially with our rush defence. But the other side of the coin is that we beat them comprehensively 36-0 in the pool game in 2007, but when it came to the final, it was the first week in my career that I felt the pressure and had a lot of stress.

“To play in a World Cup final, they have the confidence. But with it comes the pressure, and if the pressure gets to you just a little, then you play tighter. If you are a bit scared and put speed on the ball and they make a mistake, then they will go back into their shells and then we have got them.”

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