EDDIE JONES DOESN’T really do shy and retiring, certainly not when he’s at the helm of a team that has won 18 Tests in a row.
The Australian has yet to taste defeat as England head coach, so he can be forgiven for being confident.
Eddie Jones was in good form again yesterday. Source: Paul Harding
Perhaps his outspoken nature with the media does not accurately reflect what he’s like behind closed doors, but it certainly seems like this squad of English players have taken on the swagger Jones wants to see from them.
Generally speaking, England have backed up and justified Jones’ words with convincing performances.
So when Jones says England are going to build on last weekend’s 61-21 dismantling of Scotland when they face Ireland in Dublin tomorrow, it should be some cause for concern.
“We are a different team, we’ve showed that, and we are ready to take it to another level on Saturday.
“It will be our intensity to play the game, how quickly we reload in defence, how quickly we reform in attack, how quickly we chase kicks, how quickly we get back to cover kicks, they are the things that will show we’ve got the intensity to go forward or not.”
Jones says this year’s version of England are better than the one that secured the 2016 Grand Slam with largely the same players, the head coach believing that they have become more resilient, more adaptive and more self-reliant.
England ripped Scotland apart last weekend. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO
The English are ranked number two in the world but the prospect of them facing the All Blacks later this year has raised its head again this week, even without a clash between them currently scheduled.
“I’ve got no view on that, I’m not an administrator,” said Jones when asked whether it is a possibility. “I haven’t negotiated contracts, all I’m worried about is Ireland.
“If the All Blacks want to turn up to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday and want to play us after Ireland, then we’ll consider it.”
Jones has indeed been focusing on Ireland, but he stresses that this game is about England doing their own basics well. Win lineouts, scrums, carry hard, get off the line in defence – Jones believes that if England do those things, they can beat anyone.