TOKYO – England cannot sit back and wait for the Webb Ellis Cup to be handed to them on a plate in Saturday's World Cup final and their 2016 Grand Slam-deciding match in France was a great lesson in seizing the moment, coach Eddie Jones has said.
England had already secured the Six Nations title when they travelled to Paris and were cruising at 17-6 after 20 minutes but lost their way, and their discipline, to allow the hosts to fight back to within two points.
However, they regained the initiative to run out 31-21 winners and secure their first clean sweep since 2003 in Jones's first campaign, and the Australian said that win held extra significance coming into the Saturday's final against South Africa.
"In any team's development you have wins that are important and losses that are important and when I think about this team, one of the most important was the 2016 Grand Slam game," Jones told a news conference on Thursday.
"We started probably within ourselves and it took us until the second half to find ourselves. It's a great lesson for this week that we have to go out there and make the game. We can't afford to expect South Africa to give us the game.