Sport: New Zealand pundit fears Warren Gatland and Eddie Jones can deny All Blacks Rugby World Cup glory with 'inferior' players - - PressFrom - Australia
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Sport New Zealand pundit fears Warren Gatland and Eddie Jones can deny All Blacks Rugby World Cup glory with 'inferior' players

21:15  03 october  2019
21:15  03 october  2019 Source:   walesonline.co.uk

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New Zealand's rugby press believe Wales and England's World Cup squads don't possess 'athletes with the special sauce' the All Blacks have at their disposal.

But in Warren Gatland and Eddie Jones, the northern hemisphere heavyweights have coaches that could well deny the Kiwis a third straight Webb Ellis Cup, in Japan, next month.

England could well be playing the All Blacks in the World Cup semi-finals and Wales clashing with South Africa, if the pool stages and last eight games go to the current form guide.

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And New Zealand Herald rugby writer Dylan Cleaver believes the All Blacks would be foolish to take the challenge of Wales and England lightly, given the coaching pedigree of Gatland and Jones.

He wrote: "There are a couple of wily campaigners who look like they have their teams primed at just the right time, too, and they need little introduction – Warren Gatland and Eddie Jones.

"Right now there are several readers who are thinking along these lines: "Oh, p--- off, Wales haven't beaten the All Blacks since Sid Holland was prime minister, and Eddie Jones has never beaten the All Blacks as coach of England.

a group of baseball players playing a football game: The Wales team form a huddle on the pitch after beating Australia© Getty Images The Wales team form a huddle on the pitch after beating Australia

"They would be right, too (though Jones has only had one crack and was fairly unlucky to lose by a point last year), but we should show more discretion when equating coaching prowess with the quality of stock.

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"Neither Gatland nor Jones have the athletes with the special sauce that Hansen has at his disposal, but they've both conjured up gameplans to make their sides fiendishly tricky opponents.

"We need only go back to 2017 to see how Gatland could quickly mould a team of disparate individuals from multiple countries to go toe-to-toe with the All Blacks.

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"Meanwhile, Jones' long-term plan has been so carefully mapped out that while in the midst of a world-record win streak he warned his biographer Donald McRae: "Wait until the third season, mate. We might hit a bit of a low then." He was right.

"Yes, the All Blacks look wonderfully tuned. Yes, there is nobody forcing their way into World Cup favouritism ahead of them.

"But minimise the coaching prowess of others at your peril."

'I had a hole in my back where the muscle had just stopped working' .
Jake Ball is playing a key role for Wales at the World Cup after overcoming an injury list which includes a biceps rupture, concussion and torn toe ligaments.The Scarlets forward can painfully recall having a “hole” in his back where a muscle had stopped working due to nerve damage after undergoing shoulder surgery.

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