Exclusive: James Haskell Backs Eddie Jones' 'Perfect Preparation' To Take England To World Cup Success
England kick off their Rugby World Cup campaign against Tonga on Sunday morning and former England flanker James Haskell is backing the team to go all the way in Japan.
Haskell was part of the squad which failed to get out of the group stage on home turf four years ago but 'Hask', now working as an ambassador for Rugby X, thinks that Eddie Jones' perfect preparation will take England 'all the way.'
Speaking exclusively to SPORTbible the recently retired 34-year-old explained why he thinks the Red Rose will win the tournament, saying, "I think they'll do really really well. I'll back them to get all the way to win. I think they're in a great place.
"People can get caught up in the warm up games beforehand but all that matters is what happens at the tournament. The demands on you as a player are very different, you have pressure, you have the media, you have new media that don't normally cover rugby coming and searching, trying to trip you up, you're away from home, the intensity of games every five days. There are so many demands on you that are gonna test you, really push you.
"But I know Eddie Jones and his team will have done everything, looked under every stone, to give his team the perfect preparation."
In a move that was quite surprising before the tournament Jones decided not to pick experienced players like Danny Care, Dylan Hartley, Chris Robshaw and Mike Brown for Japan.
Whilst some have wondered about the lack of experience now in the squad the former Wasps player thinks there's plenty of different experience, explaining, "I think he's obviously dispensed of some guys who have been loyal servants along the way but I think he's replaced them with guys that have winning experience. You know, those Saracens guys that are in the team are used to winning.
"I think there's enough test match experience to really go on and play, I think he's chosen and exciting and dangerous side that can beat anyone on their day"
After Tonga on Sunday Jones' side play USA on Thursday before over a week's break ahead of their two toughest games of the group.
They play Argentina on Saturday October 5th and a week later they face France, in what could be a shootout for top spot after the French beat the South American side on Saturday.
Will Haskell be proved to be right about Jones and his side?
Tickets for RugbyX, on October 29 at the O2 Arena are available here https://www.rugbyx.com/tickets/