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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 October, 2003, 23:53 GMT 00:53 UK
Jones hails England pack
Former New Zealand player Michael Jones
Jones is working at the World Cup as Samoa's assistant coach
New Zealand great Michael Jones believes that England's peerless pack will be the key to their success at the World Cup.

Jones compared England's forward line-up, which includes powerhouses Martin Johnson, Neil Back and Lawrence Dallaglio, to the all-conquering All Blacks pack of 1996.

"They're definitely one of the most technically proficient forward packs ever," said Jones.

"They've played together so much and have had so much success so they're extremely confident.

"It reminds me of our forward pack in 1996 when we had almost a sixth sense about each other."

The New Zealand team of seven years ago were powered by Zinzan Brooke, his brother Robin, Sean Fitzpatrick and Jones.

The same eight forwards played together in a string of 10 Tests, breezing through the Tri-Nations.

Jones has tipped slight favourites New Zealand to lift the trophy in Australia but he believes Clive Woodward's men could reach the final if they can cope with the pressure.

"They've conquered all so far, except the World Cup," said Jones.

"It is all mental now. England have got the combinations and old heads to do it, if you look at what they've achieved in the past two years."

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