Jamie George believes England's cricket heroes have shown his side the way as they aim to handle the pressure and win the Rugby World Cup
England's rugby players hope to emulate the country’s cricket team and cope with the pressure to win a World Cup on Saturday.
Jamie George is one of many cricket fans within Eddie Jones’s national squad and as they prepared for the showdown with South Africa in Yokohama, the Saracens hooker spoke about taking lessons from the way his friend Eoin Morgan’s team clinched their own global crown.
The cricketers kept their heads to prevail in a dramatic super over victory against New Zealand. Now another England side aim to repeat the feat against the Boks.
Jamie George hopes England's rugby players can emulate the country's cricket team in Japan
George, asked if he and his team-mates have learned anything relevant from the remarkable finish at Lord’s in July, said: ‘A big thing that I have thought about is the ability to perform your skill under the highest pressure.
'If you think back to that super over and the last run-out — Jason Roy’s throw; he had to pick the ball up first, which is coming to him at speed.
'He’s done it a thousand times before but doing it under that pressure, knowing he needs to get it there in that moment. Then Jos Buttler taking the stumps. Things like that. Doing your job under pressure.
‘I read a bit with Roy saying all he could think about was getting the ball into his hands. He was thinking about the process rather than thinking about the big picture.’
George explained that the challenge for this England team is to block out the magnitude of what they are on the cusp of achieving here in Japan — the grandeur of the occasion ahead of them — and remain focused on the well-grooved processes which have served them well so far.
Jos Buttler runs out Martin Guptill with the last ball of the super over to win the World Cup
Eoin Morgan lifts the cricket World Cup following their dramatic victory over New Zealand
Part of that challenge is to avoid dwelling on their historic 19-7 semi-final win over the All Blacks.
‘I think Eddie and Owen Farrell are very good at that in terms of making sure we stay on task,’ he said. ‘There was one thing Eddie highlighted. He said, “You’re going to get 1,000 WhatsApp messages a day; everyone asking you for tickets” and it has been that way. It would be very easy for us to just think that we have done it.
‘Look, we’ve done something pretty great, but we have an opportunity to do something special.
‘The main thing is focusing on what we need to do now to get us in the best place for Saturday. That’s definitely been the focus of the team. It’s about making sure we recover and then switch off.
‘Try not to look at your phone too much, go out and have a coffee with your friends and family, and don’t think about rugby too much.’