Jones insists England are “moving in the right direction” despite the Springboks’ poor defeat

England manager Eddie Jones remains optimistic about the team’s future despite Saturday’s poor 27-13 defeat to South Africa completing their worst calendar year since 2008.

The defeat at Twickenham means the 2019 World Cup runners-up have lost six of their 12 tests in 2022, managing just one win from four matches during their autumn season.

Jones’ side finished with a 2-3 record in the Six Nations at the start of the year, while losing to Argentina for the first time since 2009 earlier this month.

England were barely in the game on Saturday, with tries from Kurt-Lee Arendse and Eben Etzbeth giving the Springboks a 27-6 lead before Henry Slade’s late consolation score with Thomas du Toit sent off for a armless contrast.

“We want to win,” Jones told reporters. “We are judged by results but I feel there is growth in the team that wasn’t evident today.

“We don’t want to be beaten by a big score in South Africa and we don’t want to have the worst record since 2008, so that’s a problem, but I accept full responsibility for that.

“Obviously with regards to the results we are not happy, but I feel we are building a very good basis to have a very good attempt at the World Cup, a very good attempt.

“A number of young players had great experience today and better players will come back for that. We have other players who are getting back to fitness, some of our older players and we’re not far off. We need to develop constantly. Test match rugby is all a question of consistency”.

Jones said “nothing seemed to go right” against the Springboks, who beat England in the 2019 World Cup final.

The defeat comes after England beat Japan 52-13 two weeks ago, a victory followed by last week’s thrilling 25-25 draw with New Zealand at Twickenham, where the team have scored three times in the last eight minutes.

“I think it’s a watershed game for us and we went into the game with high expectations of how we wanted to play behind Japan and New Zealand,” said Jones.

“South Africa were a bit too tough in the scrum and in the air in this game and I know where we need to improve.

“Are we moving in the right direction towards the World Cup? Yes, we are. height of the situation.

“We just didn’t fire a shot like we wanted today. You have to win games against the Springboks and we didn’t win air or set piece. We lost two of the key games and need to improve in those areas.”

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