Jones: Why England have nothing to celebrate

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 22:29

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: England may have already retained the Six Nations Championship title but coach Eddie Jones won't be satisfied unless his side complete a Grand Slam by beating Ireland.

Last Saturday saw England, for the second season in a row, wrap up the title with a round to spare as they thrashed oldest rivals Scotland 61-21 in a hugely lopsided Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham.

Victory also saw England equal New Zealand's record of 18 successive Test wins by a 'tier one' or leading rugby union nation and they will break the world champions' mark if they see off Ireland in Dublin this coming Saturday.

Success at Lansdowne Road would see England become just the sixth team in Championship history, and first in the Six Nations era, to complete back-to-back Grand Slams.

England's points tally against Scotland was the highest by either side in the 146-year history of the sport's oldest international fixture.

But Jones, speaking at England's training base in Bagshot, southwest of London, said: "We didn't celebrate. We haven't got anything to celebrate yet. It is all ahead of us."

The Australian, still to lose a match as England coach since taking over after the hosts' first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup, added: "Last year we were nervous and I expect us to be nervous this year. It is a big occasion. You don't get a chance to win a Grand Slam back to back too many times but experience helps.

"The players have experienced that the year before so I'm sure they will cope with that."

Jones, Australia's coach when the Wallabies lost the 2003 World Cup final to England, insisted: "Every year winning is difficult.

"There's a perception that this Six Nations has been better and it probably has been, but you've still got to win and to win it you've got to stay undefeated.

"You have to be around your best for five games in a row. That's an achievement."

Ireland's own Six Nations title hopes were effectively ended by a 22-9 loss to Wales in Cardiff on Friday.

But the Irish, under Kiwi coach Joe Schmidt, ended the All Blacks' winning streak with their first-ever victory over New Zealand in Chicago in November and a wary Jones said: "Ireland are an extremely well coached side and they'll be grossly disappointed by their performance on Friday.

"I've just been reading all the predictions at the start of the tournament and a number of people tipped them to win the competition.

"They were favourites but they haven't won the Six Nations and they'll be carrying the expectation of their country to do well."

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 November 2017
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
Ulster v Treviso 19h05 Kingspan Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leinster v Dragons 19h35 RDS Stadium
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 19h45 Kingston Park
Sat, 25 November 2017
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 12h45 Welford Road
Bath v Harlequins 12h45 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Edinburgh
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 17h30 AJ Bell Stadium
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
Sun, 26 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Liberty Stadium
Kings v Scarlets 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 13h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Allianz Park
London Irish v Wasps 15h00 Madejski Stadium
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0
France 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0