Rugby

Only a resounding victory will prove that Eddie Jones has not lost control of his team | Sport

yesSometimes it pays to take a deep breath before you start writing. Thursday morning, when the England squad was confirmed, was one of those occasions. There are test matches and then there are the test matches that matter. Japan definitely ranks in the first.

Whether before or after Saturday’s international match, someone inside the England camp will remind us how competitive Japan were against New Zealand recently. In light of the 55 points amassed against an inexperienced Welsh side in Cardiff, the 38-31 loss to the All Blacks last month looks hugely impressive.

But New Zealand chose just four from the team that started in Cardiff for the match in Tokyo. Ardie Savea and Aaron Smith, pivotal to any functional All Blacks side, were

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