Ireland bag 6 Nations, on Grand Slam track

13 March, 2018, 06:07 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Bundee Aki in action in the Aviva Stadium

Or could it have a more tangible legacy?

The Irish, who won their third Six Nations title in five years, can not be caught by England when the two teams meet at Twickenham on Saturday, and Jones admitted the Red Rose needed a lot more work on the training pitch to handle the breakdown, having been repeatedly penalised in both losses.

"Each player will get what they need to get".

Just last month they had gone eight matches without a win.

"While England are losing, there are going to be more questions asked".

The England boss says he will stick with the players in his squad to turn around their form ahead of Saturday's match at Twickenham.

"The boot is just a precaution", Jones said of Daly.

Jones, who said captain Dylan Hartley was back in training after his leadership skills were badly missed in the French defeat, said the Irish deserved their title win.

"I think it's a pretty big challenge", admitted the centre.

"That group's been together a while and they've had a lot of success, especially at the Aviva, over the years". Got lucky as well in a few games.

Jacob Stockdale crossed twice in the first half to become the first Irishman to score six tries in a single campaign, before Conor Murray added a third after the interval.

In the wake of such a performance from the third player to be deployed at outside centre for Ireland in this year's tournament, Schmidt believes his team now has stars of equal stature to the 2009 side. If you think this is abnormal, I think that thinking is abnormal.

"Three [titles] in five years, there are some very consistent personnel during that period...and then there's this young crew".

"We know how tough it is over there, we know all the things that'll be coming into this game". There's kids like that who need to understand that this doesn't happen very often.

"For a team who had lost one game in 25 to suddenly be 27 games and on the back of back-to-back losses, that is going to make them incredibly keen to make sure that they deny us what we denied them past year".

Ireland, who also prevented English Grand Slams in 2001 and 2011, are braced for a backlash.

"If that's how they want to do it, we've got to adapt to that. I thought we had improved but not as much as we needed to", the Australian told a news conference.

Eddie Jones insists belief in his project has not been shaken as he prepares to face already-crowned Six Nations champions Ireland this Saturday.

England, Schmidt has noted, are at their most risky when they have something to prove. "They're wounded but they're far from dead and buried", he said.

"Now we've got an opportunity and we've got to make sure we rest up and get ready for next week".


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