England coach Eddie Jones believes his side have the talent to defeat New Zealand after laying down the gauntlet to the back-to-back world champions just hours after adding the grand slam to the Six Nations championship. Victory in Paris saw the Red Rose complete their first tournament clean sweep since 2003, but Jones will not allow his team to rest of their laurels.
Tries from Danny Care, Dan Cole and Anthony Watson at the Stade de France completed England's 100% record in the competition and caped a remarkable turnaround five months on from the World Cup. Australian Jones has barely been in charge four full months but has successfully established a philosophy based on power and set-piece dominance coupled with the emergence of several young players.
After sweeping aside all before them in the north hemisphere, England go to Australia in the summer for a three-match series before returning to home for the autumn internationals. Though England will avoid facing All Blacks, Jones has boldly stated his side have the capacity to upset Steve Hansen's side.
"Over the eight weeks they have improved a lot," Jones told reporters, after the 31-21 win over Les Blues. "The great thing about it is we still have a long way to go. Winning the grand slam means you beat every team in the competition and it means you're the most dominant team so everyone is delighted we're the most dominant team in Europe. That's a nice first step for us but it is only a small step because we have much larger steps to go and that starts with the Australian tour.
"Can we beat the All Blacks? Of course we can. We can't now but we can in the future. That's where you have to aim. Why else would you play test rugby if you don't think you can beat the All Blacks? When you coach good players, and England tend to have good players, they respond pretty quickly. These boys are talented. We've got the talent to beat the All Blacks, maybe not now but certainly in the next two or three years we'll have a side to beat the All Blacks."