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Eddie Jones said that Wales are now favourites to win the Rugby World Cup, after watching his England side suffer a 13-6 defeat in Cardiff in a result that puts Warren Gatland’s side top of the world rankings.
In a match that failed to live up to last weekend’s spectacle at Twickenham, Wales were able to hold onto their first-half advantage that was built around George North’s cross-field kick try, which transpired to be the only one of the game as Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny combined to kick the rest of Wales’s points, with George Ford landing two penalties in response for England.
The victory means Wales overtake New Zealand at the top of the world ranking, despite the All Blacks thrashing Australia 36-0 on Saturday, to put them on top of the world for the first time since the ranking system was introduced in 2003.
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“They’re favourites for the Rugby World Cup now,” Jones said afterwards. “When you go to No 1, you’re favourites for the Rugby World Cup.
“I thought it was a brilliant World Cup game for us. We deliberately started the game with a young team and we wanted to see how they’d handle backing up from last week. It’s always a difficult game when you play Wales at the Principality Stadium. The crowd is loud and the referee gets affected by the crowd, so it’s a difficult game. I thought they stuck in there very well and then we gave some of the more experienced guys a run in the last 20 minutes and they came home strong. The result is the result, but for us it’s a big step forward.
“We set these games up to deliberately practice things. We’ve got other options from the five metre line which we have
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