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'Enjoy the third place play-off' - England's Jones responds to Gatland remark

'Enjoy the third place play-off' - England's Jones responds to Gatland remark

Eddie Jones said Jonny May was recovering well from a dead leg
bbc.comEddie Jones has taken a swipe at Wales coach Warren Gatland, who questioned if England had already played their "World Cup final" in the win over New Zealand.Gatland was speaking after his side lost to South Africa 19-16, a day after England beat the All Blacks 19-7 in the Rugby World Cup's first semi-final.The England coach responded by telling reporters: "You just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off."
England face South Africa on Saturday.Gatland and Australian Jones have had a long-standing rivalry. Prior to the quarter-finals, the Kiwi suggested Jones was wrong to use the "do-or-die" mantra[/i] in relation to England's match against Australia because it was said in the aftermath of Typhoon Hagibis, which left at least 82 people dead.At the weekend, Gatland added: "We have seen in previous World Cups that teams sometimes play their final in semi-finals and don't always turn up for a final."So it will be interesting to see how England are next week and it could be a good game."
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Meanwhile, Jones said Leicester wing Jonny May was recovering well from the dead leg he suffered in the 45th minute during Saturday's victory."We had a walk through this [Monday] morning and we had to tell Jonny to slow down a bit," the England coach said.But May is in "immeasurably better" condition than when he was recovering from a hamstring problem at the same stage last week, Jones said.Fly-half Owen Farrell also picked up a dead leg in the first-half against New Zealand, leaving George Ford to take over the kicking duties.Jones added: "Owen's a bit sore but he'll be fine. We've got a few others carrying bumps and bruises because it was a tough old game."
'Great opportunity' for Spencer
Saracens scrum-half Ben Spencer is due to join up with the England squad on Monday as replacement for Willi Heinz, who suffered a hamstring injury against New Zealand."It is tough for Willi. He's been a great contributor and a very well liked member of the squad and was in tears in the dressing room," said Jones."He has collected himself and knows he has another role to do for us and will fulfil it well this week."Spencer, 27, has won three England caps and is set to be named on the bench for Saturday's final."Ben has been in and around the squad for the last couple of years and knows the game and knows the players and is a fit guy and fits in quickly," added Jones. "We said to the guys outside the 31 that they need to be ready to go."It is a great opportunity ahead of him and he has to learn a few new things and Willi and Ben [Youngs] will help him with that."The task in hand is no different from any other player and he has to learn a bit more and get himself physically and mentally ready."
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