England 'spied on' during Rugby World Cup training session, says coach Eddie Jones

22 October 2019, 10:54 | Updated: 22 October 2019, 12:38

England rugby head coach Eddie Jones has claimed his team were spied on during a training session ahead of their World Cup semi-final match against New Zealand.

Jones said someone filmed the team from an adjacent apartment block overlooking their training ground in Tokyo.

But he did not directly accuse the New Zealand team of spying, saying: "It might have been a Japanese fan, I don't care".

He later admitted he had spied on rival teams before - but had not done so since 2001 because there was no value to it any more.

"You just don't need to do it anymore. You can watch everyone's training on YouTube," he said.

"Everyone knows what everyone does - there are no surprises in world rugby anymore. That's the great thing about the game, you just have to be good enough on the day."

The Australian said he was not bothered by the alleged spying, adding: "We knew it from the start, it doesn't change anything, we love it."

His comments come ahead of England's semi-final match against the All Blacks on Saturday.

England knocked out Australia 40-16 last weekend, reaching the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 12 years.

However their match against the All Blacks is expected to be a tough one, as New Zealand have not lost a knockout match at the World Cup since 2007.

Jones described the match - which will be fought between the two best ranked sides in the world - as the "most exciting week of the rugby calendar".

The 59-year-old also joked about New Zealand's media, mocking its rugby reporters as "just fans with keyboards".

"Someone has to ask some questions because the New Zealand media doesn't," he said.

"You guys are just fans with a keyboard, so someone has to ask them some questions on what is going on.

"The English media - one week ago I was going to get sacked, we couldn't play so we deal with a completely different situation."

Continuing his tongue-in-cheek remarks, Mr Jones said the All Blacks' mental skills coach would be "the busiest bloke in Tokyo" ahead of the match.

"They have to deal with all this pressure of winning the World Cup three times (in a row) and it is potentially the last game for their greatest coach (Steve Hansen) and their greatest captain (Kieran Read), and they will be thinking about those things."