James Haskell reveals that Eddie Jones told the players he'd make them world champions

England Media Access

James Haskell has said that Eddie Jones told the England players four years ago that he would make them World Champions. 

Speaking in the lead up to Saturday’s World Cup final against South Africa in Japan, Haskell said he stated his plans for the squad when he took over. 

England secured their place in the final with a victory against the All Blacks last Saturday in a near perfect display. 

Jones' side were on it from the very first second, and even beforehand as they confronted the New Zealand haka, only to be hit with a fine due to their actions.

However, being in the World Cup final shouldn't come as a shock to England fans, and Haskell has now revealed that it's been in Jones' mind all this time.

The former back recalled how Jones had set out his goal in a team meeting four years ago.

“He addressed the team and said: ‘Look, we’re fifth or sixth in the world. Do you genuinely think you guys are the fifth of sixth best team in the world?’," Haskell told talkSPORT.

“We said ‘no’.

Then he said: ‘We’re going to work to be the best team in the world and we’re going to win a World Cup. We’re going to do it through hard work and sacrifice. I’m going to ask you to sacrifice things no coach has asked you to do before and we’re going to have to go to some uncomfortable places and we’re going to be very honest with each other’. And I believed him.

“Most coaches when they start off in a meeting like that, they talk about these things but after a while things fade and the usual standards set in, but Eddie has been relentless every single day for four years and that’s what’s got the guys to the final.

England Media Access

“I’ve had coaches stand in front of me talking about winning and I’ve thought, ‘you guys haven’t even won a raffle let alone winning a World Cup or some silverware’.

“But Eddie did it with South Africa [as a coaching consultant in 2007]. He has authenticity through making mistakes himself and through failure. That’s what we ask for as a player, someone who has been there and done it.

“And we saw after the first two or three weeks how he completely changed the way we trained, the coaching staff around him, our standards, we were going to do things completely his way.

“The proof is in the pudding, he’s got this team to the World Cup final.”

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Haskell has also thrown his weight behind his country, “I am 100 per cent backing England to win the World Cup.”

The World Cup final takes place November 2 in Yokohama and sees England take on South Africa in order to get their hands on the William Webb Ellis trophy.

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