Fired up Eddie Jones tells Japan to be worried, expect 'absolutely ruthless' England

Eddie Jones watches on as England fall to a narrow defeat against the All Blacks, Nov. 10, 2018. David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

Japan beware. England are planning to "physically smash" the Brave Blossoms at Twickenham next weekend as Eddie Jones prepares to face the side he coached in the last Rugby World Cup.

As Jones picked through the bones of England's one-point defeat to the All Blacks, he was asked what advice he would give Japan ahead of Saturday's match. "Pray, pray, pray," Jones said. "Go to the temple and pray. Just pray, it's the best thing. We're going to be absolutely ruthless."

Jones, who coached Japan from 2012 to 2015 and masterminded their famous win over South Africa in the last World Cup, has been playing close attention to how they are developing under Jamie Joseph.

While he said they now have a better coach than the one before -- said in Jones' own unique way -- he pointed to their kicking game, solid defensive structure and promising youth players as to why England need to take nothing for granted next weekend.

But married with those warnings is Jones' confidence and excitement at facing his former side. "We want to smash them mate, physically smash them, because I know they're going to come full of confidence," Jones said. "I've heard some of the things they've said, they've been a bit cheeky so look out."

These comments appear to have been made behind closed doors, but Jones' side will need little motivation to put on an all-court showing against Japan next weekend as they come to terms with the defeat against the All Blacks.

Jones shut down any notion his players had already peaked this November having had the All Blacks in town, and was already noticeably excited about the task awaiting England on Saturday. "If I'm fired up, how are they not going to be fired up? If they're not fired up, they won't be there," Jones said.

The England coach saw their 16-15 defeat to the All Blacks as a measurable "step forward" and pointed to their lack of experience, and the number of caps they had unavailable through injury. He is adamant they have "100 percent" come out of last season's poor run of form and says they have increased the squad's depth "immeasurably".

Jones would also not be drawn on the TMO incident at the end of the match which denied England a game-winning try and urged Sam Underhill to back up his hugely impressive showing against the All Blacks with more performances of that ilk.

England will be off until Tuesday, meaning Jones will have three days with the side before Japan. He is unlikely to make wholesale changes to the team, but will want to see an 80-minute performance of physicality and clinical finishing.

"We're taking it seriously and that's why we have to be absolutely ruthless about the game," Jones said. "If you want to come out and watch a Barbarians game, don't come out, stay home."