Former All Black Ian Jones says there could be a silver lining to Matt Todd’s injury with Shannon Frizell’s bigger body potentially beneficial as the All Blacks take on the English “monsters” in this weekend’s semi-final.
After picking up a shoulder injury in the 46-14 victory over Ireland, reserve openside flanker Todd is in doubt and “unlikely” to take his spot on the bench to face England this weekend.
“In terms of his injury, going forward playing England, I thought in the back of my mind anyway, I thought we might have gone for a bigger guy like Frizell in the loose forwards because we’re taking on some monsters."
“Of course, we may need to meet some physicality with physicality.”
Jones agreed with his former captain Sean Fitzpatrick that the win over Ireland was probably the All Blacks’ best performance since the 2015 RWC.
The veteran of 79 Tests, which at one time made him the most capped All Blacks lock, said the experience of the All Blacks and nous of coach Steve Hansen gave him confidence.
“We’re taking on a pretty good side, coached by an amazing coach as well, almost in the same sort of vein as Hansen, it’s going to be a heck of week,” he said.
“We’re going to be very respectful of the English, very respectful of their coach, the quality of the players,” Jones said.
“We always need to remind ourselves though that this is a damn good All Blacks team coached by a very good coach, no doubt certainly in the professional era the best coach we’ve ever had.”
“Remember we’re a damn good team.”