Eddie Jones needs to teach England set-piece power to overcome South Africa

England head coach Eddie Jones is confident he can find a plan to exploit the weaknesses of world champions South Africa but it will need some “serious teaching” this week.

The national side face their biggest test of the autumn when they meet the Springboks at Twickenham on Saturday for the first time since losing to them in the 2019 World Cup final. England are in good shape with Saturday’s 32-15 success over Australia offering further glimpses of the new attacking style they want to incorporate working towards the 2023 World Cup.

However, the Wallabies were significantly under-strength and South Africa, who defeated the British Lions in the summer, have ominously improved following a disappointing Rugby Championship. They defeated the All Blacks in the final game of that tournament and, after beating Wales in Cardiff, delivered a 30-15 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

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Asked what lessons England had learned from the defeat in Yokohama two years ago, Jones said: “Every time you play against South Africa and get beaten there’s a lesson there.

Eddie Jones, the England head coach looks on during the Autumn Nations Series match between England and Australia. (Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images)

“The lesson is quite clear. You have to be able to take away their scrum, be able to take away their maul, and successfully catch their high balls, to not give them attacking opportunities.

“We have to have some serious teaching on it this week, which we will.

“We will go in prepared for that sort of game.

“If we’re able to do that we can create opportunities to attack against them.

England head coach Eddie Jones celebrates with Manu Tuilagi (Picture: Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

“Like any team, they have weaknesses in their defence, and we’ll be able to find a few of those.”

Props Joe Marler and Ellis Genge both missed the Australia game having contracted Covid but Marler comes out of isolation on Thursday so will hope to make himself available for the World Cup final re-match to bolster their scrum.

“We will just have to find out who’s available,” said Jones, with hooker Jamie George a major doubt after coming off at half-time on Saturday due to a knee injury. “We are running a bit short of troops at the moment. We will work out who’s available and who is not.”

Captain Owen Farrell limped off towards the end of the Australia game with an ankle issue but reported it as “okay”.

Report and reaction: Page 7