The England coach made the tongue-in-cheek comment after some of Gatland's comments.
‘Make Sure He Enjoys The Third Place Play-off’ – Jones Fires At Gatland
We have been stopped from seeing an England v Wales Rugby World Cup Final this weekend but that still hasn’t stopped the banter flowing between head-coaches Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland.
Speaking to the media at an England press conference, Jones said; “You just send my best wishes to Warren to make sure he enjoys the third and fourth place play-off.”
Made in jest towards his Southern hemisphere counterpart, Jones’ comment was made in response to Gatland’s remarks over the weekend.
Gatland said; “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.”
England put together arguably their finest performance in a World Cup in their semi-final as they totally outplayed New Zealand to win 19-7. If truth be told the All Blacks were dominated in every single way so even that scoreline flattered the men in black.
After the match England had several injury concerns such as Jonny May and Owen Farrell however both are expected to be fit and ready to go.
“We had a walk through this [Monday] morning and we had to tell Jonny to slow down a bit,” the England coach said.
“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.”
Willi Heinz has been ruled out and replaced by Ben Spencer.
“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.”
“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.”
Wales missed out on their spot in the final after they lost a narrow affair to South Africa with the boot of Handre Pollard proving to be the difference. The third place play-off will be Gatland’s final game in charge of Wales as Wayne Pivac is set to take over.
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