Mako Vunipola Rugby World Cup 2019: Eddie Jones warns England to prepare for New Zealand ‘samurais’ in semi-finals

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Eddie Jones warned his England team to be wary of the “samurais lurking around the corner” following their quarter-final victory over Australia at the Rugby World Cup.

England look set to face New Zealand in a blockbuster semi-final clash on Saturday, putting them potentially 160 minutes away from winning the Webb Ellis Cup for the second time in their history. The All Blacks delivered a timely reminder though of what lines in wait, with the 46-14 demolition of Ireland demonstrating how much of a challenge they will pose I Yokohama.

Jones was delighted with England’s record-equalling 40-16 victory over the Wallabies that ensures his side have met their minimum expectation in Japan, but the head coach immediately started preparing them for what will be England’s first World Cup meeting with the All Blacks since 1995.

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“It’s was a do-or-die game today,”, Jones said. “Everyone understands that and the best samurais were always the guys who had a plan but who could adapt, who had a calm head and they were full of aggression. I thought we were pretty much like that today, but the challenge is how do we get better because there’s always a samurai around the corner, so we’ve got to continue to get better.

“We just want to keep challenging ourselves. We haven’t played our best yet and the challenge for us is how do we get better next week, how do we get better individually as a player, how do we get better as a team, and these World Cups that’s what it’s all about.

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“You go from a quarter-final to a semi-final, and the semi-finals are always probably the toughest game of the tournament because you’ve got two teams desperate to make the final. Everyone empties the tank, and you’ve got to find a way in the w

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